Northwest Measles Outbreak Revives Debate Over Vaccine Laws

Northwest Measles Outbreak Revives Debate Over Vaccine Laws

The North Dakota Department of Health said officials will aid in an epidemiological investigation of the outbreak to identify who has been exposed to the disease and how it's being spread. Only one case occurred in a person who was vaccinated. Get vaccinated now! For more information on the current measles outbreak, please visit Washington State 2019 Measles Outbreak.

The measles outbreak that has sickened 38 people in Washington state has spread to Hawaii and OR by travelers with the highly-contagious disease. Outside of the family noted above, there are no reports of secondary cases of measles. Beyond southwest Washington, where the outbreak began, cases have also surfaced in Multnomah County, Deschutes County and King County.

Back in that 2004 school year, the vaccination rate was "getting close" to a threshold for herd immunity (around 95%), Clark County public health director Alan Melnick told Business Insider. "Thirteen additional suspected cases were reported Wednesday, and some of those will likely be confirmed", the AP reported. "We know that what we are doing is not working because we're seeing the measles outbreak".

Before mass vaccination, 400 to 500 people in the United States died of the measles every year, 50,000 people were hospitalized and 4,000 people developed brain swelling that can cause deafness, Melnick said.

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They announced Monday that others could have been infected at the popular Oregon Museum of Science & Industry in Portland and a Wal-Mart Supercenter in the bedroom community of Vancouver, Washington. That raises the possibility of more cases among the unvaccinated. But measles is still a big problem in other parts of the world, and travelers infected overseas can bring the virus back and spread it, causing periodic outbreaks. Many of those parents are part of a growing movement of "anti-vaxxers" who worry about the safety of vaccines.

"If you get both doses of the measles vaccine you're looking at about 97 percent protection", Ward said. DOH urges everyone to check their immunization records to verify that they are fully immunized and get vaccinated if they are not already.

Measles symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis (red watery eyes) or a runny nose.

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