Published: Thu, January 31, 2019
Medicine | By Rogelio Lindsey

Washington State Issues State of Emergency Over Measles Outbreak

Washington State Issues State of Emergency Over Measles Outbreak

Besides Washington and OR, there are 16 other US states that give parents this option. Since the start of this month health officials in Washington identified 35 confirmed cases and 11 suspected cases. Health officials are looking at a number of other suspected cases. Twenty-four of the cases were in children between 1 and 10 years old. "And we'll send out a press release confirming that case and also letting people know where that person has been in the last two weeks". Together, the two doses are about 97 percent effective at preventing the disease, the CDC says.

The hospital has restricted visitation to labor and delivery, mother-baby and neonatal intensive care units, citing the rise in measles and influenza cases. Vaccination with 2 doses of MMR is required to attend schools and colleges in CT, however, students with medical or religious exemptions may attend school without being vaccinated.

Free MMR vaccines are available by calling the Rockland County Department of Health at 845-364-2497 or 845-364-2520 to schedule an appointment to get a free MMR vaccine at the Pomona health complex.

Children traveling overseas may need to be vaccinated before their first birthday, and women who are hoping to become pregnant should discuss vaccinations with their health care provider, as the MMR vaccine is not recommended during pregnancy.

Thanks to the effectiveness of the measles vaccine, measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000. Rep. Paul Harris, who represents Clark County, says his bill in the House is aiming to get personal exemptions off the table only when it comes to the measles.

Those who may have been exposed should watch for early symptoms of fever and malaise and then a rash starting on the head and moving down the body.

The number of measles cases almost tripled in 2018 to 349 over 2017, when only 120 cases were reported.

Symptoms of measles typically appear between 10 to 14 days after a person has been exposed to the virus. The health officials are not only fighting the outbreak but also a spread of misinformation.

In Friday's statement, Inslee said, "Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children".

A larger than average percentage of children don't have required vaccines in Clark County, which is the epicenter of the outbreak, according to a Washington Post analysis. Although that shot would not count for the two recommended vaccines, according to Dr. Fan.

"Herd immunity" means that a disease cannot spread very easily, even among those who can't be vaccinated, like newborns and those with vaccine allergies.

Measles is hard to contain due to the fact that it's an airborne disease, that can stay hanging in the air for up to two hours. People with measles may be contagious up to 4 days before the rash appears and for four days after the day the rash appears.

In people who have been immunized, it is possible to contract the illness, but it usually has a milder course, Sammons explains.

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