Measles outbreak in southwestern Washington
Southwestern Washington is said to be affected by the measles outbreak. About 16 confirmed cases have been reported since January 1, 2019, and five more cases were suspected to be that of the viral. Most kids were not vaccinated against the disease.
The confirmed cases include 13 children who are said to be under 10 years of age, while the other three are under 18 years, said Washington Clark County health officials on Thursday in a news release. While the 14 are unimmunized, the other two children’ immunization status is unverified.
Measles viral is highly contagious, and it spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The symptoms of the disease are fever, runny nose, cough, rash, and red eyes. Most of the infected patients were not immunized against the disease, officials said.
Also, these patients while contagious are said to have visited places like schools and medical facilities, as well as the Portland International Airport and retailers including the Northeast Portland Costco and Ikea stores, some media outlets reported.
To contain the spread of infection, officials are now advising people detected with these symptoms to contact health officials before checking into any health care center.
“Clark County Public Health is urging anyone who has been exposed and believes they have symptoms of measles to call their health care provider before visiting the medical office to make a plan that avoids exposing others in the waiting room,” the news release stated. “People who believe they have symptoms of measles should not go directly to medical offices, urgent care centers or emergency departments (unless experiencing a medical emergency) without calling in advance.”
Public Health officials have identified additional locations. People who may have been to some 20 locations in Vancouver, Washington, and Portland, Oregon may have been exposed to measles.
People may visit the Public Health measles investigation web page to get a complete list of exposure sites.
Students and staff without documented immunity to measles have been asked to be excluded from schools identified as possible exposure sites, officials said. However, staff and students at schools not impacted by exposure are not affected by this exclusion.
For any queries regarding the disease and vaccination, you may call primary care provider in the locality or local county health department, the release said. The numbers to health centers are provided on the web page.