King County investigates first measles case after outbreak in SW Washington

Major measles outbreak strikes anti-vaxxer stronghold in Washington state

Emergency declared in Oregon for measles outbreak in anti-vaccine hotspot

Health officials urged anyone who has been exposed and believes they have measles symptoms to call their health care provider before visiting a medical office to make a plan that does not put others at risk.

Because measles is among the most highly contagious of all infectious diseases, it flares up in areas with low vaccination rates, Peter J. Hotez, a professor of pediatrics and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told the the Washington Post.

More than a dozen unvaccinated children have been sickened by the measles virus in Washington's Clark County, with the area's health officials tallying 16 confirmed cases since January 1.

Public health experts are sounding alarms about the geographical clustering of people who refuse to immunize themselves, which creates vulnerabilities despite the overall high rate of vaccination.

Twenty of the 23 patients in Clark County are known to have been unvaccinated.

Just 1 percent of kids who were exempted from vaccination previous year in Washington were excused for medical reasons.

According to Public Health Seattle & King County, the man in his 50s was hospitalized but has since been released. "Vancouver is in Clark County, where there is a measles outbreak occurring".

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In the Clark County outbreak, people who have contracted the virus have visited community hubs like schools, churches, and doctor's offices, along with a Costco, an Ikea, a Dollar Store and other locations, according to Clark County Public Health.

Twenty-three people have been diagnosed with measles in Clark County, and two more people are believed to have the illness.

State data shows that 7.9 percent of children in Clark County were exempted in the 2017-18 school year from vaccines required for kindergarten entry, which includes the two-dose course for measles that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is 97 percent effective. Health officials said the immunization status for three cases was not verified.

According to a recent Blue Cross Blue Shield report, NY state has a high rate of vaccine refusal. 2018 registered the second-highest number of cases since 200, with 349 infections reported as of December 29. The encephalitis, when it didn't kill them, sometimes left people deaf or with brain damage. A major reason behind choosing not to vaccinate children is the false and disproven claim that vaccines were linked to autism.

A similar move was made in NY, where health officials in December had banned unvaccinated children from attending several schools in the Orthodox Jewish community, which has been battling a measles outbreak since the fall.

Eighteen states in the USA now permit non-medical exemptions from childhood vaccinations due to philosophical beliefs. Then if others breathe the contaminated air or touch the infected surface and touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected. "Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 90 percent of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected".

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