BC CDC warns of measles outbreak in Washington State

A medical worker holds a measles-rubella vaccine in Indonesia

Public health officials say the patient was admitted to the emergency room January 19, and tests confirmed Wednesday that the patient had the infection.

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.

Most of the cases involved children younger than 10, the Clark County Public Health Department said in a statement. One person in Clark County has been hospitalized.

Locations and venues include Portland International Airport, at the Moda Center during a Portland Trail Blazers basketball game, an Amazon Locker location and stores such as Costco and Ikea.

One case has been confirmed in King County, where Seattle is located. Years after the measles vaccine was introduced in the United States in 1963, officials considered the illness eradicated in the country.

The Health District says no other cases of measles have been reported in Champaign County at this time.

The CDC says that typically individuals get measles overseas in areas where immunization rates are low, and then spread the illness in pockets of unvaccinated people.

But measles is still a big problem in other parts of the world.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, declared a statewide public health emergency for his state on Friday.

"If the measles virus is introduced from overseas into populations that have not had the vaccination, it will spread very widely since measles is probably the most contagious virus we know", says Schaffner.

In 2018, there were 17 outbreaks and about 350 cases of measles in the U.S.

Idaho authorities have issued warnings, as well. As of Friday, Clark County Public Health had posted even higher numbers, with 30 confirmed and nine suspected cases. The first known patient sought medical care on December 31, but it is unknown if other people may have gotten sick before that and did not seek treatment. Patients remain contagious for four days after they develop the rash. Pictured: Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, Interim Health Officer from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, briefs the media.

It can cause fever, running rose and watery, inflamed eyes along with small red spots with white or bluish centres in the mouth and a dusky red, blotchy rash that begins on the face and spreads according to the BCCDC.

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