Dozens of measles cases confirmed in 3 new states amid Washington outbreak
Health authorities have confirmed 40 cases of measles in Vancouver, Washington. The best solution to this disease is vaccination; However, a recent wave of anti-vaccines is putting the lives of children and adults at risk.
Of the figure, 38 are in southwestern Washington state, one in Seattle and one outside Portland, Oregon, officials said on Wednesday, January 30. Two of the patients in southwestern Washington had visited Hawaii, where they were quarantined, and a third person was infected during a trip to Bend, Oregon.
Authorities believe no one was exposed to measles in Hawaii, but the Clark County Public Health Center said there are another 13 suspected cases.
The outbreak in the Pacific Northwest is alarming. Take it from a nurse: vaccinations work. Herd immunity protects those who clinically *shouldn't* be vaccinated, like children undergoing chemotherapy. #IL14 (& everyone reading), pls vaccinate.https://t.co/dVM2COL54d— Lauren Underwood (@LaurenUnderwood) January 31, 2019
Of the confirmed cases, the majority corresponds to children under 10 years of age. Of all the infected, only a small number were not vaccinated against the disease.
The governor of Washington, Jay Inslee, declared last week a state of emergency due to the outbreak. Measles is an infectious disease caused by a virus, which is spread easily from person to person through sneezing or coughing.
Washington state officials warn that the measles outbreak in the state may get worse. There have been 37 cases so far this year. On the east coast, New York has seen 209 cases since October 2018.— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) January 30, 2019
The disease has mostly affected children who have not been vaccinated. pic.twitter.com/1X9WeZZrTt
The virus can live in the air for up to two hours. If a non-immune person breathes it or has contact with an infected surface it is very likely to develop the condition.
According to specialists, measles is one of the most contagious diseases known to date. Each time someone acquires it, 90% of their close contacts become susceptible to developing it.
The vaccine is highly effective to prevent any infection, it is recommended to vaccinate children between 12 and 15 months of age, and again from 4 to 6 years old.
It’s 2019 and we’re worried about a measles outbreak? pic.twitter.com/j6qZrJNvU4— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) January 31, 2019
These two doses of vaccines protect 97% of the chances of getting measles. Specialists recommend that women planning to become pregnant talk about vaccination plans.
It is important to keep in mind that people vaccinated against measles who get to contract the disease have milder symptoms and a much quieter and easier course to heal. In addition, they are considered immune to contracting the disease a second time.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC), one or two of every 1,000 children who get measles will die from complications.
In 1978, the CDC set a goal to eliminate measles from the United States in 1982. Measles was declared eliminated - which is defined as the absence of continued transmission of the disease for more than 12 months - from the United States in 2000.
But recently there has been an increase in unvaccinated children. The proportion of children who did not receive doses of vaccines at 2 years increased from 0.9% among those born in 2011 to 1.3% among those born in 2015, the CDC reported in October.