Mr. Van Deusen added in an email, 'Measles is so contagious that if someone has it, 90 percent of the people around that person who are not immune could become infected'.
The Oregon Health Authority reported that the number of measles vaccines in the last week of January tripled in the tri-county area (Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties).
The WHO defines "vaccine hesitancy" as the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines.
Both the DSHS and the CDC recommend children get 1 dose of measles vaccine at 12-15 months of age, and then the 2nd dose at 4-6 years.
Measles is prevented through the combination measles, mumps, and rubella, or MMR, vaccine.
The orders represent only state-supplied vaccines requested through the federal Vaccines for Children program, which provides free immunizations to children who otherwise couldn't afford them.
"This is a reminder for people to be on guard and be up to date on their vaccinations", said Dr. Umair A. Shah, executive director for Harris County Public Health.
"I would rather it not take an outbreak for this to happen", he said.
Five new cases of measles have been diagnosed in the Houston area, part of a national trend that's seeing a return of the once-eradicated disease.
On Wednesday, officials sent letters to families of 5,000 children in Multnomah County telling them they'll be excluded from school if they don't have up-to-date immunizations or valid exemptions by February 20. The virus is one of the most infectious diseases known to man. The identities of the patients have not been released by DSHS, but the health department said the children were either too young to be vaccinated or had not completed the two-part vaccination series.
Other collected outbreaks of highly and deadly contagious, but vaccine-preventable diseases are turning exasperatingly routine across the country.
The Northwest cases are among three ongoing measles outbreaks in the USA that sickened 79 people in January, according to the CDC.