Washington Governor declares state of emergency over measles outbreak

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Clark County, where 35 of the confirmed cases of measles have been found, had a nonmedical vaccine exemption rate of just under 7 percent for all children going into kindergarten for the 2017-2018 school year. The only other case so far has been reported in King County. For more information on the current measles outbreak, please visit Washington State 2019 Measles Outbreak.

Three cases of measles have been confirmed among one Atlanta, Georgia family, health officials reported. The Washington Military Department is also coordinating resources to support the statewide effort as well as local officials in alleviating the impacts to people, property and infrastructure.

There are 18 states that allow parents to opt out of vaccines if they have personal, moral or philosophical objections to them. Doctors say the disease spreads so quickly because it can linger for hours after an infected person has left the room. According to the CDC, approximately one in four people in the United States who gets measles will require hospitalization.

Early symptoms include a fever, runny nose and malaise, followed by a rash that starts around the head and moves down the body. Therefore, a massive measles outbreak in the U.S. got traction due to the anti-vaxxer movement.

DPH urges healthcare providers to maintain heightened awareness for patients with measles or symptoms of measles. And say they're seeing about five new cases each day. Effective treatments for people with measles are largely limited to drinking lots of fluids, rest, Vitamin A and over the counter pain relievers. "There is no magic bullet cure to fight it".

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We need most people in the population to be vaccinated in order to maintain our "herd immunity". State records in Washington show that during the 2004-05 school year, vaccination rates for kindergartners in Clark County were above 91%.

Opposition to vaccines is generally based on junk science that has been endorsed by celebrities like Jenny McCarthy who, with Oprah's help, falsely hinted that there may be something unsafe about the measles vaccine.

Measles virus travels through the air.

Dr. Messonnier contends that there are no other alternatives to vaccination and that best way to stop this outbreak in its tracks is to make sure that everybody gets vaccinated. People are considered infectious from four days before to four days after the appearance of the rash. Both states now allow parents to opt out of getting the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine.

Foreign travel or exposure to foreign travelers increases the risk for measles. Contact your health care provider or schedule an appointment for the vaccine with the Washoe County Health District.

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