Measles Outbreak Causes Official State of Emergency in Washington

Pearl Mccarthy
January 30, 2019

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, declared a statewide public health emergency for his state on Friday.

"Measles are so contagious that if you are not immunized against it you will nearly for sure get it if you are exposed to someone who has the disease", Danielle Koenig with Washington Department of Health said.

A measles outbreak in Washington State has prompted health officials to declare a public emergency. The vaccine-exemption rate in Clark County for non-medical reasons was high, at 7.5 percent, Armstrong said.

Washington state epidemiologist Scott Lindquist told NPR's Patti Neighmond this is likely only the beginning of the epidemic since numerous families with infected children traveled to very public places, including Costco, Ikea, the Portland International Airport and the arena where the Trail Blazers play.

Thus far in Washington, no cases have been in children under the age of 1, which Swanson believes is at least partly because local officials have been dogged in their efforts to track exactly where infected individuals have been (schools, daycares, health centers, grocery stores, etc.) so parents with babies can stay away.

They announced Monday that others could have been infected at the popular Oregon Museum of Science & Industry in Portland and a Wal-Mart Supercenter in the bedroom community of Vancouver, Washington.

Measles virus travels through the air.

Symptoms of measles typically appear between 10 to 14 days after a person has been exposed to the virus. Measles symptoms tend to manifest seven to 21 days after exposure. 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. People who are not killed by the disease may still develop serious, lifelong complications. In the remaining cases, authorities had not yet verified their immunization status.

Now 25 of the 36 people affected are 10 years old or younger.

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In addition, Nurmagomedov cornermen Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Zubaira Tukhogov were fined $25,000 and suspended for a year. Nurmagomedov's fine will be taken from his share of the purse for the October 6 fight.

Public Health has also identified 12 suspect cases, and one new exposure location: Word of Grace Bible Church, 1317 N.W. 12th Ave., Battle Ground, 9:30 2 p.m. January 20.

Clark County Public Health, 360-397-8021. The disease is so contagious that 90 per cent of unvaccinated people who are exposed will catch it. It explains, "If you get MMR vaccine within 72 hours of initially being exposed to measles, you may get some protection against the disease, or have milder illness".

Before the vaccine was introduced in 1963 measles was the single leading killer of children in the world. To this day, it still kills 100,000 children a year worldwide, most under the age of five.

Officials still are not sure where this Pacific Northwest outbreak began.

Thirty-one of those 35 people were unvaccinated.

If his bill passes, any parent who sends their children to public school will not be allowed to use a personal exemption to not vaccinate their kids.

As NPR reported, "In 2014, there were 667 cases in the U.S".

The groups often spread misinformation claiming a link between vaccines and autism.

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