35 measles cases in Washington outbreak

Measles outbreak prompts state of emergency declaration by Washington governor

Washington measles outbreak is causing concern among Idaho health officials

Officials say it appears nearly all involve unvaccinated children under the age of 10.

Washington state has declared a state of emergency in Clark County, which is just north of Portland, Ore., because of a measles outbreak there. Over the weekend, nine more cases were discovered.

BC typically experiences a few cases of measles each year, usually among under-vaccinated travellers returning from parts of the world where measles is still common.

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"The existence of 26 confirmed cases in the state of Washington creates an extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties". Data from a National Immunization Survey also revealed that the number of children reaching age 2 without having received any vaccinations has increased gradually, from 0.9% for children born in 2011 to 1.3% for children born in 2015.

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

A news release on the governor's website says the Washington State Department of Health, or DOH, has implemented an infectious disease incident management structure so it can manage the public health aspects of the outbreak through investigations and lab testing. The proclamation directs state agencies and departments to utilize state resources to assist affected areas. Low vaccination rates make the Portland area a "hot spot" for outbreaks, Peter Hotez, a professor and dean at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told The Seattle Times. At least 30 patients had not been vaccinated against the highly contagious viral infection.

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Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, coughing, runny nose, red and watery eyes and tiredness.

The virus is so contagious that almost everyone who comes into contact with it and isn't immune will become infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Measles was declared eliminated - defined by absence of continuous disease transmission for greater than 12 months - from the United States in 2000. The measles vaccine is available as a combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, and is available from your local health unit, family doctor, and many pharmacists.

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