The State of Washington has a public health crisis on their hands.
Individuals with confirmed cases were reported by LCPH to have traveled throughout the Portland Metro area during their communicable period, prompting health officials to issue a warning down the I-5 corridor.
34 of the 35 cases are in Clark County which is just across the river from Portland, Oregon. Most of the patients are children under 10. In 2000, officials declared that measles had been officially eliminated from the U.S.
County officials, including Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, are reminding residents that the measles outbreak continues in Rockland and that residents who have not received a vaccine should do so.
The county health website listed locations where infected patients have visited in an attempt to control the outbreak, with 10 doctors surgeries listed, a dozen schools, several churches, an ikea and a an arena where the Trail Blazers basketball team played recently.
"Herd immunity" means that a disease cannot spread very easily, even among those who can't be vaccinated, like newborns and those with vaccine allergies. "So when you think about parents bringing their children in for immunizations, it's not a disease that looms large in your memory". The measles virus is so contagious that it can live on surfaces and in the air for up to two hours.
A measles vaccine at Miami Children's Hospital on January 28, 2015. Now there are ongoing measles outbreaks in the United States in NY and the Pacific Northwest. It is possible for anyone of any age to get measles and it can be more severe in teens and adults than in young children.
Thirty-five of the confirmed measles patients and all of the suspected cases are located in Clark County. Once a person has measles, about 90% of close contacts who are susceptible to it will develop the disease, she added.
All but eradicated from the United States thanks to comprehensive vaccination programs, measles is still endemic in other parts of the world, and once in a while it hitches a ride to our country via global travel.
Nurses say getting the vaccine is incredibly important and the vaccine for measles is 97 percent effective.
Those infected with measles can spread the virus four days before and four days after the rash appears. This myth was perpetuated thanks to a small 1998 study which used false data to suggest a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. The vaccine is generally not given to children under a year old.
In Clark County, Washington, where the current outbreak is occurring, 7.9% of children entering kindergarten had vaccine exemptions during the 2017-18 school year, according to the Washington State Department of Health. And we wouldn't be dealing with this if we had vaccination rates up.
CDC recommends all children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12- through 15-months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age.