Saturday, 20 April, 2019

Inslee declares state of emergency over Washington measles outbreak

Inslee declares state of emergency over Washington measles outbreak State of emergency declared in US measles outbreak
Celia Hoffman | 28 January, 2019, 09:22

Public Health Seattle and King County said Wednesday that the man in his 50s was hospitalized but has been released. State agencies and departments are directed to utilize state resources and to do everything reasonably possible to assist affected political subdivisions in an effort to respond to and recover from the incidents.

This year, B.C. has seen just one case of measles, in a traveller returning from the Philippines.

This does not include the single confirmed case in Multnomah County.

Clark County is an area American Health authorities call an "anti-vaccination hot spot".

"Routinely we don't vaccinate children prior to the age of one, so infants are likely to be susceptible, especially after about four to six months of age", she says.

Health officials in Clark County as of Wednesday said they had confirmed 23 measles cases since the beginning of the year. However, some of the people infected with the virus have visited public places like the Portland International Airport, and Washington Department of Health epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist says the outbreak is expected to move across the state.

More news: How and when to catch the Seahawks in Sunday's Pro Bowl

As of Saturday, there are 32 confirmed cases of measles in Washington - an outbreak that has already prompted Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency.

In 2018, there were 17 outbreaks and about 350 cases of measles in the U.S. The CDC says in the province children receive two doses of measles-containing vaccine during routine immunization. Public health officials are focused for now on preventing more exposures. "Fortunately, the measles vaccine is very effective".

Clark County - which is in the southwest part of Washington and close to Portland - has a lower vaccination rate than almost any other county in the state. The measles vaccine consists of two shots, one given by age 2 and the second usually between ages 4 and 6.

The virus, spread by coughing or sneezing, can remain in the air for up to two hours in an isolated space.

"Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children", Inslee said in his proclamation Friday, adding that these cases create "an extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties".

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