Washington Governor declares state of emergency over measles outbreak

Representative Paul Harris Ranking Member House Education Committee left and Representative Moni

"The measles vaccine isn't flawless, but one dose is 93 percent effective at preventing illness", Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County Public Health director, said in a news release.

East Wenatchee, WA - Although Chelan and Douglas Counties do not now have a confirmed case of measles, public health officials are working closely with school districts and healthcare providers throughout Chelan and Douglas County to ensure students and staff are up-to-date on their vaccines. The King County measles case involved a middle-aged man who visited Clark County where he likely contracted the virus and has since recovered.

"I would hope that this ends soon, but this could go on for weeks, if not months", Alan Melnick, public health director for Clark County told The Associated Press.

WAC 246-105-080 authorizes schools, child care centers, or the local Health Officer to exclude any child or staff who does not have appropriate documentation of immunity against measles.

In New York, health officials have seen more than 200 cases since October. According to CNN, Washington state is experiencing the highest number of measles cases since 1996 - 37 to be exact - and is now in a state of emergency.

"Now is a great time for all families to take action by reviewing their vaccination records and be sure that everyone is up to date and has completed the vaccination series for measles", health officials said. The states of OR and Washington are now dealing with an outbreak of measles, which had previously been eliminated in the entire United States as recently as 2000.

Surrounding counties also have more than 90 percent of their school-age children protected from the measles.

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Opposition to vaccines is generally based on junk science that has been endorsed by celebrities like Jenny McCarthy who, with Oprah's help, falsely hinted that there may be something unsafe about the measles vaccine.

Health officials said groups with low vaccination rates are most at risk.

Four percent of Washington secondary school students have non-medical vaccine exemptions.

This is the first case in the outbreak confirmed to have had an MMR vaccination.

The Central District Health Department noted that symptoms include fever, cough, red eyes, sore throat, runny nose and a rash that can spread over the body. "And a few days after that, you get that famous rash". Of these, approximately 500,000 cases were reported each year to CDC; of these, 400 to 500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 1,000 developed encephalitis (brain swelling) from measles. 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.

Before America offered a measles vaccination program, starting in 1963, the CDC shares that an estimated 3 to 4 million people got measles each year in the United States.

Measles is highly contagious, so we lose herd immunity when about 5 percent of the population is unvaccinated.

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