Health Care

Washington State Officials Declare State Of Emergency As Measles Outbreak Continues

Washington State Officials Declare State Of Emergency As Measles Outbreak Continues

The outbreak near Portland has sickened 35 people in OR and Washington since January 1, with 11 more cases suspected.

The outbreak in the Pacific Northwest is in what has been called an anti-vaccination "hot spot" in the USA, the Associated Press reported.

Inslee said the number of cases "creates an extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties".

A measles outbreak in Washington State has triggered a state of emergency.

Officials in OR and Idaho have issued warnings.

Twenty-six of the confirmed patients had not been vaccinated against measles, and the vaccination status of four others who were infected is unknown.

As the cases increase in these communities, we sit down with Dr. Julia S. Sammons, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and medical director of the Department of Infection Prevention and Control at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, to talk about some of the most common questions about the illness. So far in 2019, a single case of measles was reported in an adult traveller returning from the Philippines. "But because the vast majority of us are immune to measles, we tend to not see more than a couple of generations of cases".

The first known patients in this outbreak sought medical care on December 31, but officials don't know if other people may have gotten sick before that and did not seek treatment, the AP reported.

Low wind chills expected Friday | Weather
Temps climb to near 20° and into the 20s this weekend and Monday with the best chance of snow coming Monday into Tuesday . Unsafe wind chill readings, around 3 degrees at 8 a.m. and 6 degrees at 9 a.m., were in Wyandotte County this morning.

Measles was eradicated in the USA after a safe and cheap vaccine was developed in 1963, but in recent years, outbreaks from NY to California have sickened hundreds.

"It's one of the most contagious viruses we have".

These rates of non-vaccination are particularly high in the state of OR, which is worrisome considering its close proximity to the outbreak in nearby Clark County, Washington.

Both Washington and OR allow vaccine exemptions for personal and philosophical reasons.

Doctors say the full vaccine is 97 per cent effective and protects you for life. The disease is contagious from approximately four days before the characteristic rash appears to four days after the rash appears.

Who cares if measles are the most contagious of any disease known to man. It can remain in the air for up to two hours in an isolated space.

Every time an unvaccinated person who has been exposed to measles goes out in public, "it starts that clock over again", Armstrong said. It can cause serious complications, including pneumonia and encephalitis, and can be deadly. General symptoms are fever, diarrhea, coughing, runny nose, red and watery eyes and tiredness.