With an outbreak of measles centered in Clark County, Gov. Jay Inslee Friday announced a state of emergency, calling the situation an "extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties".
Officials with Southwest District Health in Caldwell, Idaho say so far no measles cases have been reported in Idaho as a result of the outbreak. Nearly everyone who is not immune will get measles if they are exposed to the measles virus.
Anti-vaccination propaganda has already led to province-wide measles outbreaks in 2014 and 2010, and the BCCDC is understandably concerned about another as the disease spreads through the neighbouring states.
Before the measles vaccination program began in the U.S.in 1963, about 3 to 4 million people in the US got measles every year.
Measles is highly infectious and spreads through the air by coughing and sneezing, as well as respiratory secretions.
Officials there say they expect more cases.
Across the USA, 2 percent of children did not receive standard immunizations for non-medically exempt reasons in the 2017-2018 school year.
Health officials in southwestern Idaho are warning medical care providers to be on the lookout for symptoms of measles because of an outbreak in western Washington that has sickened at least 26 people.
"Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children", Inslee stated in his proclamation. These locations include a Costco, an IKEA, the Portland airport, and the basketball arena where the Portland Trail Blazers play.
The Oregon Health Authority said Friday the agency is working with Multnomah and other agencies to notify people of their potential exposure and help them take steps to prevent exposing others if they become ill.
Leman also warns people not to underestimate how serious the infection can be. Complications from the disease, such as swelling of the brain, can be deadly. As many as 1 out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children.
People who choose not to vaccinate their children are underestimating the dangers of the illness, said Melnick, who himself had measles as a child, before the vaccine was commonplace. Those people stayed home and later got ill, Armstrong said. "You can feel absolutely miserable for 10 days to two weeks".