Measles outbreaks make 2018 a near-record year for US

Henrietta Brewer
January 26, 2019

Although someone suffering from measles had gone for the National Basketball Association game held on January 1, none of the residents of OR was affected by the virus.

"Public Health is continuing to identify and contact potential measles cases, and identify possible locations of public exposure", Washington county officials said, noting that the emergency declaration will help them fight the virus and access resources outside the region. The outlet reported that 7.9 percent of children in Clark County were exempt in the 2017-2018 school year from vaccines required for kindergarten entry, making it a hotspot for outbreaks. Eighteen of the cases were in children between one and 10 years old.

Twenty-two cases of measles have been reported in Clark County since January 1, according to the Clark County Public Health website.

Contagious people also went to Portland International Airport, as well as to hospitals, schools, stores, churches and restaurants across Washington's Clark County and the two-state region, county officials said. One of the children was hospitalized, and an additional two cases are suspected. Only 1.2 percent of the children had a medical dispensation, meaning that almost 7 percent were not immunized for personal or religious reasons. If you're uncertain of your loved ones' immunization standing, you'll be able to view, obtain and print your family's immunization data on-line at MyIR or request a duplicate of your immunization report from the Washington State Department of Health.

The measles, mumps and rubella vaccine was controversial after a British doctor published a paper linking the vaccine to autism. 2018 registered the second-highest number of cases since 200, with 349 infections reported as of December 29.

"Clark County Public Health is urging anyone who has been exposed and believes they have symptoms of measles to call their health care provider prior to visiting the medical office to make a plan that avoids exposing others in the waiting room", the post said.

The outbreaks are sparked by travelers who bring the virus back from other countries, as the virus finds fuel in pockets of unvaccinated people, the CDC says.

According to a recent Blue Cross Blue Shield report, NY state has a high rate of vaccine refusal. "(The greatest was 667 cases reported in 2014)", the CDC says in its latest update on measles.

Because measles is still endemic in parts of the world, said Opel, "periodic introduction by people traveling is what's causing frequent outbreaks here".

Since then the number had continued to grow weekly as unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children and adults were exposed, the department said. Measles virus can remain in the air for up to two hours after someone infectious with measles leaves the area.

The virus lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person and can spread to others through coughing and sneezing.

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