Spokane health district urges vaccinations as Washington measles cases rise to 34

Spokane health district urges vaccinations as Washington measles cases rise to 34

So why the emergency declaration? The disease is so contagious that 90 per cent of unvaccinated people who are exposed will catch it. It can be contracted without even being near a person with the virus because it lingers for up to two hours in the air of a room where a person with the measles has been.

People may have been exposed to the disease at about four dozen locations, including Portland International Airport and a Portland Trail Blazers game, county health officials said. Of those cases, 30 people were not immunized and four of them were not verified.

Thirty-one of the confirmed patients had not been vaccinated against measles. In the remaining cases, authorities had not yet verified their immunization status. But measles is still a big problem in other parts of the world, and travellers infected overseas can bring the virus back and spread it, causing periodic outbreaks. By 2017-2018, only 84 percent of kindergartners had. Thanks to the high numbers of unvaccinated children, "this epidemic could last a while".

On Jan. 16 health officials out of Denver alerted the public of a measles exposure in Colorado.

"This never would have happened if all of those children were immunized, or even if majority were immunized".

At least one person has been hospitalized in Washington.

Pediatrician Peter Hotez, dean of Baylor College of Medicine's National School of Tropical Medicine, told NPR there is a very-aggressive anti-vaccine lobby throughout the Pacific Northwest that have effectively driven up the rates of vaccine non-compliance, leaving scores of children vulnerable to the infection.

A lot of kids who can't be vaccinated are now at risk.

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Measles Outbreak Grows in Northwest US, 31 Cases Reported
People who have had measles are also considered to be immune from getting the illness a second time , similar to chicken pox. So far, King County has reported the only adult case , a man in his 50s who was hospitalized but has since recovered.

If you feel like you may have the measles, make sure you call the doctor before you go in for a visit so they can protect others from contracting the viral illness.

You'll get the latest updates on this topic in your browser notifications. Of the 34 cases, 24 are children between age 1 and 10.

There is also one case in King County, which includes Seattle.

But children who are immunocompromised - like those who are on steroids or who are undergoing chemotherapy, for example - are also unable to be vaccinated. "They're not going to be protected".

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The full vaccine is 97 percent effective and provides immunity for life.

Clark County has so far poured $100,000 into trying to contain the outbreak, with staff being reassigned from other duties to help manage the public health effort. Because some people like to claim personal exemptions to getting the vaccine. "But an outbreak like this shows why this issue can get distorted".

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