Published: Wed, February 06, 2019
Medicine | By Ray Hunter

Washington State Reports More Measles Cases

Washington State Reports More Measles Cases

The outbreak in Clark County, Washington, involves 49 confirmed cases of measles and nine suspected cases, according to local public health officials. Public health officials said they have not identified any new locations where people may have been exposed to measles. The policy allows children to go to school without getting vaccinated, if their parents have a personal objection, but one state representative is pushing a measure eliminating the exemption, specifically for the measles vaccine.

"Vaccine-preventable diseases can range from mild to severe and even life-threatening", he said.

Measles is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least 47 people in southwest Washington's Clark County have been infected with measles during the past couple of weeks, according to data posted on the Clark County Public Health website on February 3.

Measles usually manifests as a combination of high fever, as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit, along with what is known as the three Cs: cough, coryza (another word for runny nose), and conjunctivitis or pink eye, Sammons explained.

A child who received only one dose of the measles vaccine is the newest person diagnosed with the disease, according to a Friday update from Clark County Public Health.

Washington isn't the only state grappling with the disease. So what can you do to help keep measles out of this community?

The outbreak has lawmakers in Washington state revisiting non-medical exemptions that allow children to attend school without vaccinations if their parents or guardians express a personal objection.

Though once extremely widespread, measles has been all but eradicated in Ireland due to the widespread adoption of the MMR vaccine. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward used to be a champion for vaccinations, but she's one of the chief budget writers this session. One person had one dose of the vaccine, which is 93 percent effective.

It would not be unusual to see so many headlines about measles. if this were 1919.

As concerning as measles outbreaks are, she also reminds parents that many other viruses are far more common.

Dr. Shamard Charles is a physician-journalist for NBC News and Today, reporting on health policy, public health initiatives, diversity in medicine, and new developments in health care research and medical treatments. Nationwide, the median exemption rate for at least one vaccine for children entering kindergarten in the 2017-2018 year was just over 2 percent.

Insinuations that vaccines are unsafe spread via misinformation and anecdotal reports of alleged vaccine reactions, either by unqualified professionals, the media, the internet and/or anti-vaccination groups, and this leads parents to question the need for immunization. Since then, numerous studies have proven the effectiveness and safety of the MMR vaccine.

That is why you need to get vaccinated.

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