Inslee declares state of emergency over Washington measles outbreak

Inslee declares state of emergency over Washington measles outbreak

While the King County website says the man in his 50s is a "suspected case", the governor said in a news release it is a confirmed case of measles.

However, "People who believe they have symptoms of measles should not go directly to medical offices, urgent care centers or emergency departments (unless experiencing a medical emergency) without calling in advance", it warned. "The existence of more than 26 confirmed cases in the state of Washington creates an extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties". No cases related to the Clark County outbreak have been reported in the province, but B.C.'s vaccination rate now sits below the 95 per cent necessary to achieve herd immunity. There has been one recorded case in King County, which is the area around Seattle. According to the CDC, if a person has measles, 90 percent of unvaccinated people close to them will also become infected.

Officials have identified several locations in Auburn, Kent and Covington, including two crowded high school basketball games at Kentlake High School on January 10 and 12, visited by the infected person last week.

Clark County Public Health Director, Dr Alan Melnick said, "I don't see this ending anytime soon". Public health officials are focused for now on preventing more exposures.

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The best protection against measles is vaccination. The state of New Jersey only recently declared an end to a flare-up of measles there in which 33 incidents were identified. The typical recommendations are that children should get two doses of MMR vaccine, the first between 12 to 15 months of age and the second between 4 and 6 years old.

Both Washington and OR allow vaccine exemptions for personal and philosophical reasons. The measles vaccine is very effective.

Those who may have been exposed should watch for early symptoms of fever and malaise and then a rash starting on the head and moving down the body.

The centre adds that while it is expected that most travellers will be immune to measles, some individuals will be susceptible, including infants less than one-year-old or people who have never been immunized against measles. Serious complications such pneumonia and brain infections can arise from the disease in some cases.

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