Measles outbreak misses Wahkiakum; vaccinations needed

Health officials NYS should consider removing religious exemption for vaccinations

All three cases are children who were not vaccinated or did not complete their vaccine series.

The measles outbreak affecting the Portland-Vancouver area hasn't hit Wahkiakum County, yet. In just Washington state, there have been more than 45 confirmed cases of measles this year alone.

The MMR vaccine is one of two immunizations recommended by the federal government to help prevent measles.

Some people are self-treating with vitamin A, prompting the Washington State Department of Health to warn the public that doing so has no effect on measles.

"During an outbreak is when you see an influx of patients who would otherwise be vaccine-hesitant", said Virginia Ramos, infection control nurse with Sea Mar Community Health Center, which runs six sites that offer vaccines in Clark County. This is why measles outbreaks are occurring in Ireland and across Europe.

Measles is transmitted through direct contact with an infected person or through the air when the infected person coughs or sneezes. The measles vaccine is reported to be very effective; 97 percent of those who receive both vaccinations are immune.

A hallmark of measles is a rash that begins as flat, red spots on the face and spreads down the neck to the rest of the body.

"Clark County Public Health is urging anyone who has been exposed at an identified location 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 agency said. So far, there are 2 confirmed cases.

"People that are actually infected with measles, one in four will get hospitalized and one in 1,000 may die", said Dana Beckham, director of Harris County Public Health. Previous year was the highest number of cases since 2014, which had ten reported cases. The vaccines include MMR, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella, and MMR-V, which also protects against the varicella-zoster virus, which causes chickenpox.



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