Inslee declares local public health emergency after identifying outbreak of measles


Outbreaks of the measles in Washington state and in NY state may be spreading.

An ongoing measles outbreak has led to a public health emergency being declared in Clark County, Washington. Ninety percent of people exposed to measles who have not been vaccinated will get it, public health officials said.

A day after Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency due to a measles outbreak, the number of confirmed measles cases in southwest Washington has climbed to 31.

Cases have now been confirmed in OR as well. A person can spread the virus before they show symptoms.

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. Herd immunity happens when unvaccinated individuals are protected from infection because nearly everyone around them has been vaccinated and is immune to a disease. Most of the confirmed cases - 21 - were with children between 1 and 10 years old.

In BC, children receive two doses of measles-containing vaccine during routine immunization, with the first at 12 months of age and the second at four years of age or school entry.

Armstrong said Clark County Public Health will provide daily updates pertaining to the ongoing measles investigation.

Public Health officials have released a list of times and places in King County where non-immunized people could have been exposed to measles, such as a Boeing construction site in Auburn, high-school basketball games in Kent and multiple medical facilities in Covington.

Public health officials in Washington say people may have been exposed to the risky disease at more than three dozen locations, including Portland International Airport, a Portland Trail Blazers game, an Amazon locker location and stores such as Costco and IKEA. The other four cases' immunization statuses are unverified.

Measles is a highly-contagious and potentially deadly infection that is most common for small children, although it is easily preventable through vaccination. One dose is about 93 percent effective.

The centre says those travelling to affected communities are at potential risk of exposure to measles, as people with the highly contagious disease can infect others prior to the onset of symptoms like fever and rash. More than two dozen cases have been confirmed statewide.