Medicine

Confirmed Measles Case in Multnomah County

Confirmed Measles Case in Multnomah County

Health officials in British Columbia are warning residents about a measles outbreak in Washington State.

On January 18, Clark County Council Chair Eileen Quiring declared a public health emergency in response to the measles outbreak.

Public health officials in Washington say people may have been exposed to the unsafe disease at more than three dozen locations, including Portland International Airport, a Portland Trail Blazers game, an Amazon locker location and stores such as Costco and IKEA.

The disease was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000 but has since made a comeback that is tied to imported cases and the rise of the anti-vaccine movement.

Health officials warn he came in contact with hundreds of people. While it is expected most will not be affected by the outbreak, those who have not been vaccinated against the disease, including infants less than a year old, are at risk. Herd immunity happens when unvaccinated individuals are protected from infection because nearly everyone around them has been vaccinated and is immune to a disease. Only 77.4 percent of all public students there complete their vaccinations, according to state records cited by the Oregonian.

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Data on Portland's vaccination rate for both shots wasn't immediately available. One dose of the measles vaccine is about 93 percent effective at preventing measles.

They added the outbreak could still be in its infancy as the incubation period of the virus averages 14 days.

"Measles is a highly contagious disease and if you don't have immunity, you can get it just by being in a room where a person with measles has been", said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health - Seattle & King County. Measles is spread through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes. People who visited those locations during the dates and times listed at this link may have been exposed.

Earlier this week, authorities were successful in identifying several people who had been exposed but were not sick yet.

Southwest District Health says health care providers should consider measles if they see patients with symptoms like fever and malaise followed by a rash that starts at the head and moves down the body. Serious complications such pneumonia and brain infections can arise from the disease in some cases.


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