Washington governor declares state of emergency over measles outbreak

Governor Jay Ipsee as declared a state public health emergency after more than two dozen measles cases have been reported primarily affecting small children

He warned that parents who decide not to vaccinate their children are underestimating the dangers of the measles, the AP reported.

According to the Clark County Department of Public Health's investigation, at least 30 of its recorded cases were in people who were not immunized against the virus. Over the weekend, nine more cases were discovered. Most of the patients are children under 10.

Washington state has one of the lowest vaccination rates when it comes to measles. It explains, "If you get MMR vaccine within 72 hours of initially being exposed to measles, you may get some protection against the disease, or have milder illness".

Although no cases of measles related to an outbreak in Washington state have been reported in B.C., the province's centre for disease control (BCCDC) is warning British Columbians about travelling to the affected communities.

Clark County, which includes the Portland bedroom community of Vancouver, Washington, has a measles vaccination rate of 78 percent, well below the 92 to 94 percent rate required for so-called "herd immunity", said Marissa Armstrong, the department's spokeswoman.

Measles is a highly infectious viral respiratory disease that spreads through the air and through direct contact with respiratory body fluids like snot and saliva.

The outbreak in the Pacific Northwest is in what has been called an anti-vaccination "hot spot" in the US, the Associated Press reported.

Measles is highly contagious and can be very unsafe for infants, people with weakened immune systems, and those who have not been vaccinated. A second immunization is the MMRV vaccine, which protects children from measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox. "And then you see another generation of cases", he said.

"I've seen children develop diseases that are vaccine-preventable, and it's just really frightful", she said.

In a health alert from King County, it was said the man had recently traveled to Clark County.

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 worldwide travel. "It's really very bad and really tragic and totally preventable".

People are contagious with measles for up to four days before and up to four days after the rash appears.

If you may have been exposed and are experiencing symptoms, immediately notify your healthcare provider BY TELEPHONE explaining a possible measles exposure and symptoms.

Earlier this week, authorities were successful in identifying several people who had been exposed but were not sick yet. Serious complications such pneumonia and brain infections can arise from the disease in some cases.

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