Washington State Officials Declare State Of Emergency As Measles Outbreak Continues
- Author: Sylvester Abbott Jan 31, 2019,
Jan 31, 2019, 10:15
Most of the measles cases involved children between 1 and 10 years old who had not been vaccinated. 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.
Of 22 people with confirmed cases, 21 are children, county officials said. These exemptions have made OR and Washington "more susceptible to entirely preventable outbreaks", he told Vox. The proposed legislation was sent to the House Health Care & Wellness Committee.
Here's why the current outbreak in Washington is a flawless example of what can happen when parents do not vaccinate their children for philosophical or religious reasons - and how exactly that can put their own kids, and others, at risk. Individuals who are unsure of their vaccination status are encouraged to check with their physician.
Last week, a person infected with measles attended a Portland Trail Blazers home game in OR amid the outbreak.
Deschutes County Health Services is working to notify people of their potential exposure and help them take steps to stop the spread of the virus.
"Anti-vaxxer" parents and activists in Washington and nearby OR have been calling on the states to not require the measles vaccines.
Washington state has introduced legislation that would no longer allow a personal exemption but that is in the early stages. The other 16 are Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Vermont. But it raises the possibility the Washington outbreak could spread across the state line. Experts say a live measles virus can live in the airspace for up to two hours where an infected person sneezed or coughed.
Measles is caused by a virus that presents as fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by full body rash of tiny red spots, according to the CDC.
Adults can be immunized for the measles if they did not receive the two shots needed as a child.
"Cases of measles, while not widespread in the United States, are not uncommon and measles is circulating in the United States and internationally".
A measles outbreak in the U.S. Northwest that has sickened at least 35 people has some people wondering - could it affect Arizona? Thanks to the high numbers of unvaccinated children, "this epidemic could last a while".
Health officials now warn that this could be just the beginning of this outbreak. Nine were in children between 11 and 18 years old.
Doctors say the county has become an anti-vaxxer "hotspot" and that the only way to curb the crisis is to ban non-medical exemptions completely.
Protection against measles can be substantially increased through vaccination. "Once you start to drop down as low as you see there (in Clark County), you lose that herd immunity and that's also part of the concern", he explained. "Almost everyone who is not immune will get measles if they are exposed to the virus".