Medicine

Measles Outbreak Grows in Northwest US, 31 Cases Reported

Measles Outbreak Grows in Northwest US, 31 Cases Reported

The Connecticut Department of Public Health announced today that it has confirmed a case of measles in a New Haven County adult, the first confirmed case this year in the state.

Officials say 30 of the patients were not vaccinated against the highly contagious disease and in four cases it's unclear whether the person was vaccinated.

Children under the age of one can not be immunized.

Health officials in Washington have declared a state of emergency and are urging immunization as they scramble to contain a measles outbreak in two counties, while the number of cases of the potentially deadly virus continues to climb in a region with lower than normal vaccination rates.

Last year, there were 17 outbreaks and about 350 cases of measles in the U.S. OR also has a high nonmedical exemption rate for vaccinations-one 2018 state analysis found a rate among kindergarteners of 7.5 percent, with the number for K-12 students climbing as high as 10 percent in some counties.

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Both Washington and OR allow vaccine exemptions for personal and philosophical reasons. "It's all hands on deck", Alan Melnick, the county health officer, tells the AP "Clearly this is going to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and it wouldn't surprise me if we were in the seven figures by the time we're done here".

Before the vaccine, 400 to 500 people died from the measles each year, 50,000 people were hospitalized and 4,000 people developed brain swelling that can cause deafness, he said.

"Vaccines are really important to keep kids and other people healthy and safe". "These costs could have been prevented if we had everybody vaccinated". The disease is so contagious that 90 per cent of unvaccinated people who are exposed will catch it. The vaccine-exemption rate in Clark County for non-medical reasons was high, at 7.5 percent, Armstrong said. "Almost everyone who is not immune will get measles if they are exposed to the virus".

The first vaccine gives you a 93 percent protection against the measles and the second dose raises the effectiveness to 97 percent. The measles virus is transmitted by air very easily, and people are contagious several days before they show any symptoms. Ninety percent of people exposed to measles who have not been vaccinated will get it, public health officials said. Initial symptoms include fever, cough, watery eyes, and a runny nose; a blotchy red rash will typically spread to all over the infected individual's body roughly three to five days later. In all but four instances, the person who had contracted the disease had not been immunized.