Measles outbreak grows in northwest US, 30 cases reported

Grant Boone
January 29, 2019

Health officials say a suspected measles case in King County has been confirmed.

Officials with Southwest District Health in Caldwell, Idaho say so far no measles cases have been reported in Idaho as a result of the outbreak. Naus says similar under-vaccinated areas exist in our province, with even possibly as much as five per cent of young children in B.C. who are not vaccinated. For now, public health officials are focused on preventing additional exposure. Nearly everyone who is not immune will get measles if they are exposed to the measles virus. Only 77.4 percent of all public students there complete their vaccinations, according to state records cited by the Oregonian.

Measles is highly infectious and spreads through the air by coughing and sneezing, as well as respiratory secretions. In New York and New Jersey, the measles have mostly affected Orthodox Jewish communities that have been resistant to getting the vaccine, according to the CDC.

Measles is rare in North America, and a single case results in a cascade of public health activity to ensure that transmission from the case is minimized.

As a precaution, the BCCDC is advising residents, and border crossers especially, to review and, if necessary, update their vaccines, the best protection against measles.

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The person while contagious visited Legacy GoHealth in Gresham and Fred Meyer in Wood Village Sunday and on Wednesday visited Gresham Troutdale Family Medical Center in Troutdale and the Walgreens Pharmacy in Troutdale. "So if you don't remember having the illness and you never got vaccinated, it wouldn't hurt to get the vaccine". These locations include a Costco, an IKEA, the Portland airport, and the basketball arena where the Portland Trail Blazers play.

To avoid infecting others, Clark County Public Health urges anyone who believes they may have been exposed to measles or are experiencing symptoms of the disease to call a health-care provider, to discuss being evaluated before going to a doctor.

Leman also warns people not to underestimate how serious the infection can be. Serious complications such pneumonia and brain infections can arise from the disease in some cases. Those people stayed home and later got ill, Armstrong said.

Schaffner adds, "It's no joke".

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