Saturday, 20 April, 2019

DPH: Case of measles found in New Haven County adult

A hospital security worker who declined to be identified stands at a door at Peace Health Southwest Washington declares public health emergency after measles outbreak of mostly unvaccinated children
Celia Hoffman | 30 January, 2019, 02:07

A statewide public health emergency was declared in Washington state after a measles outbreak in an area bordering Portland, Oregon reached 31 cases on Friday. With 35 cases of measles now in an outbreak in the Vancouver, WA area, lawmakers are looking to put a stop to the personal exemption silliness.

As of Sunday, there are 35 confirmed cases of measles in the state of Washington - an outbreak that has already prompted Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency.

Health officials in OR have raised concerns that the virus could easily cross the border.

Dozens of people have been infected in a measles outbreak that is now spreading throughout parts of the Pacific Northwest, prompting Washington Governor Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency in all counties on Friday. One person has been hospitalized in the outbreak. There is one case so far in Multnomah County, one in King County, Washington, and now a suspected case in Deschutes County.

A news release on the governor's website says the Washington State Department of Health, or DOH, has implemented an infectious disease incident management structure so it can manage the public health aspects of the outbreak through investigations and lab testing. The first known patient sought medical care on December 31, but it isn't known if other people may have gotten sick before that and did not seek treatment.

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It could be weeks or even months before the "exquisitely contagious" virus runs its course in Washington, Dr. Alan Melnick, the Clark County health officer, said Friday.

"Anti-vaxxer" parents and activists in Washington and nearby OR have been calling on the states to not require the measles vaccines.

In the USA last year, there were 17 outbreaks and about 350 cases of measles.

The local public health emergency in the affected counties began on January 18, according to the statement, which also reminds Washington residents that "the measles vaccine is effective at preventing the disease when given prior to exposure". "Many state courts have weighed in and the right to practice a religion, the right to choose, does not include the liberty to expose a community or a child to a disease", Harris said. Between one and three cases out of every 1,000 are fatal, he said.

Here's why the current outbreak in Washington is a ideal example of what can happen when parents do not vaccinate their children for philosophical or religious reasons - and how exactly that can put their own kids, and others, at risk. Virus symptoms begin with a fever, followed by cough, runny nose and reddish eyes - which is common of most viruses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Two doses of the MMR vaccine are 97 percent effective, while just one dose is about 93 percent effective, the CDC said.

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