A Measles Outbreak Has Hit An Anti-Vaxxer Hotspot In The US

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The state of emergency directs state agencies and departments to use their resources to assist affected areas in their response.

Gov. Jay Inslee declared a public health emergency Friday after the number of confirmed cases of measles in western Washington grew to 30.

The Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) report that an outbreak is also ongoing in Brooklyn, New York, where 62 cases have been verified. Thirty of the confirmed cases are in Clark County and one confirmed case is in King County.

According to The Oregonian, most of the cases involved children younger than 10, the Clark County Public Health Department in Washington said in a statement. Officials said an unvaccinated female toddler was infected with the virus, which she likely contracted on an worldwide trip to an area that was in the midst of a measles outbreak.

Immunization is the best prevention for measles. Herd immunity happens when unvaccinated individuals are protected from infection because nearly everyone around them has been vaccinated and is immune to a disease.

Measles can lead to serious complications including pneumonia but the vaccine is up to 97 percent effective and protects recipients for life.

Officials there say they expect more cases.

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This 1958 photograph reveals the skin rash on a patient's abdomen 3-days after the onset of a measles infection. The second-highest number of cases since 2000 was in 2018, with 349 infections reported.

"The measles is now only being reintroduced because children are not being 100 percent vaccinated", says Dr. Schaffner.

Although some people can not get vaccinations due to immune system issues or allergies, others do not get their children shots due to religious or philosophical beliefs. More than two dozen cases have been confirmed statewide.

The health department has published a long list of places where infectious people have visited included churches, schools, hospitals, parts of Portland International Airport, an IKEA, and even a Portland Trail Blazers basketball game.

To avoid infecting others, Clark County Public Health urges anyone who believes they may have been exposed to measles or are experiencing symptoms of the disease to call a health-care provider, to discuss being evaluated before going to a doctor.

With measles apparently making a comeback in the USA, preventive steps need to be made urgently.