Measles Outbreak Grows in Northwest US, 31 Cases Reported

Measles Outbreak Grows in Northwest US, 31 Cases Reported

Dozens of people have been infected in a measles outbreak that is now spreading throughout parts of the Pacific Northwest, prompting Washington Governor Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency in all counties on Friday.

In Friday's statement, Inslee said, "Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children". "The existence of 26 confirmed cases in the state of Washington creates an extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties".

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is warning British Columbians to take precautions if they are travelling to Washington state or OR because of a measles outbreak.

Eighteen states including Washington allow parents to decide not to vaccinate their children due to moral, personal, or other beliefs. Only 76.5 percent of Clark County's kindergartners had complete vaccinations in the last school year, and as one of the most highly contagious diseases, measles is a prime candidate for causing outbreaks in vulnerable areas. In 2018, six cases of measles were reported among BC residents: two cases acquired infection during travel out of Canada (India and Philippines, respectively), and four acquired infection from imported cases.

So far, King County has reported the only adult case, a man in his 50s who was hospitalized but has since recovered.

The number of confirmed measles cases near Portland grew to 31 on Friday - an outbreak boosted by lower-than-normal vaccination rates in what has been called an anti-vaccination U.S.

In the Clark County cases, numerous infected folks visited hubs in the community where there are larger crowds.

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But measles is still a big problem in other parts of the world.

The threat also spread in the past few days; Deschutes County officials say someone visiting Bend on January 19 and 20 may have brought measles with them.

A growing measles outbreak in the Pacific Northwest is spreading fear among many parents.

The virus, spread by coughing or sneezing, can remain in the air for up to two hours in an isolated space.

No cases of measles have been reported in B.C.in relation to the outbreak. "Some outright lies, that when put all together, reveal a very terrifying picture of vaccination", Marcus said. The centre advises British Columbians who need to update their immunization status before travelling can receive a vaccine that also prevents mumps and rubella.

People who have had measles are also considered to be immune from getting the illness a second time, similar to chicken pox.

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