Measles Cases Confirmed in Georgia Following Northwest Outbreak

Grant Boone
February 2, 2019

Public health officials scrambling to contain a measles outbreak in the U.S. Northwest warned people to vaccinate their children Monday and anxious that it could take months to contain the highly contagious viral illness due to a lower-than-normal vaccination rate at the epicenter of the crisis. Outside of the family noted above, there are no reports of secondary cases of measles.

Clark County Public Health says there are now 13 additional suspected cases.

"Most Oregonians have been vaccinated against measles and are protected, but there are pockets of people within communities that have low immunizations rates", public health officials said.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel notice for Kazakhstan, where health officials have reported a measles outbreak.

Clark County, where the first case was documented, has a 78 percent vaccination rate - far below the 95 percent required for "herd immunity" for such a contagious virus. One dose of the measles vaccine gives 93 percent lifelong immunity; a second dose between ages 4 and 6 provides 97 percent immunity.

You can request a copy of your vaccination records from the Oregon Health Authority by printing out this online form.

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee last week declared a state of emergency because of the outbreak.

The declaration came on January 25 when the number of confirmed cases reached 26. The highest number of infections there in over two decades and more cases are popping up in states across the U.S.

A measure introduced by Republican Rep. Paul Harris of Vancouver, Washington - the epicenter of the current outbreak - would remove the personal exemption specifically for the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, or MMR.

Thirty-one of the confirmed patients had not been vaccinated against measles.

Early symptoms include a fever, runny nose and malaise, followed by a red rash that starts around the head and moves down the body. And the worst part of the measles outbreak would be that this virus is deadly for the majority of newborns and individuals with a weak immune system. "And a few days after that, you get that famous rash".

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