Washington Measles Outbreak Spreads

Tribune editorial Don’t fall for anti-vax scare campaigns

The outbreak in Clark County, Washington, involves 49 confirmed cases of measles and nine suspected cases, according to local public health officials.

Washington isn't the only state grappling with a disease.

News 3 medical expert Dr. Ryan Light said the decline in vaccinations could lead to even more measles cases across the country.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention attributes the rise in measles to un-vaccinated travelers who get exposed and bring it to the United States and to those who chose not to get vaccinated.

Separately, five additional cases were confirmed in the Houston metro area Monday, including two boys younger than 2 in Harris County, prompting health officials to urge residents to "protect their children and themselves from this disease by getting vaccinated". One victim had had one MMR vaccine, but not a follow-up shot. At least eight other states have reported measles cases this year: Hawaii, Oregon, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Colorado, California and Georgia.

"The measles vaccine isn't flawless, but one dose is 93 percent effective at preventing illness", said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director.

The virus is most commonly known for the red rash it can cause which starts on your head and works its way down your body. More than 180 of the cases happened in Orthodox Jewish communities.

"It is a virus that starts like a common cold, but in a more severe version could be fatal, because it has the ability to get into organs that other viruses can't", Maldonado said. At that point you might realize that it isn't a garden-variety virus - and at that point, the person would have been spreading germs for four days. "That is when it becomes very risky". Other possible infection sites in Portland include an Amazon Locker location and stores such as Costco and Ikea. "It can be on surfaces", explained Dr. Phil Huang, Medical Director and Health Authority for Austin Public Health.

"In a given year, more measles cases can occur for any of the following reasons: an increase in the number of travelers who get measles overseas and bring it into the USA and/or further spread of measles in US communities with pockets of unvaccinated people", the CDC website says. The most important thing is that we keep every child, every family, and every community safe.

"Immunization, in general, has been so effective it has been counter-effective to our jobs", Lesinger said.

People may have been exposed to the risky disease at more than three dozen locations, many in neighboring OR, such as Portland International Airport and the Moda Center, home to the Portland Trail Blazers. It is used as an oral supplement in people with poor or severely limited diets or in those who have a condition that increases the need for vitamin A, such as pancreatic or eye disease. "If these parents saw the disease, they wouldn't hesitate".

They are born before January 1st, 1957.



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