Measles outbreak in Vancouver area: 41 confirmed and 15 suspect cases

Pearl Mccarthy
February 2, 2019

Officials say the vast majority of people who have been infected are likely children of parents who decided not to have them vaccinated.

Though being unvaccinated obviously left the sick individuals vulnerable to the disease, but those cases have not been connected to the Washington state outbreak and it is unclear how they contracted it.

"Americans who travel overseas might be surprised to find out that a number of the countries where measles is being transmitted are countries that would be surprising to them", Dr. Nancy Messonnier the director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said.

Misinformation is circulating on social media, said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County public health director.

"Even though the CDC bureaus declared measles as 'eradicated" in the 2000s, a new measles outbreak hit the United States, proving that there's nothing eliminated regarding the measles virus.

DPH urges healthcare providers to maintain heightened awareness for patients with measles or symptoms of measles.

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Agents also seized almost 395 pounds (179 kilograms) of methamphetamine with a street value of $1.18 million, Humphries said. The latter amount accounts for 20 percent of all the fentanyl seized in FY 2017 along the entire southwestern border.

As the Associated Press reports, at least 35 people are now confirmed to have the disease, with around a dozen other suspected cases yet to be confirmed. But measles is still a big problem in other parts of the world, and travelers infected overseas can bring the virus back and spread it, causing periodic outbreaks.

Two children who traveled to Hawaii were not contagious when they flew, Melnick said, and they were quarantined in the islands once they arrived.

And, as of epidemiologic week 42 of 2018, the Peru Ministry of Health had also reported 2 cases imported from Venezuela. One dose of the measles vaccine gives 93 percent lifelong immunity; a second dose between ages 4 and 6 provides 97 percent immunity.

The vaccine has been part of routine childhood shots for decades. Melnick said one need look no further than his county's official Facebook page to glimpse the rampant (and at times sophisticated) anti-vaccine propaganda that's spreading around the area.

Those who may have been exposed should watch for early symptoms of high fever, malaise and red eyes, followed by a rash that starts on the head and moves down the body.

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