The majority of measles cases are children, with 25 of the 35 confirmed cases impacting children under 10 years old. But a drop in vaccination rates has brought a resurgence.
"Americans who travel overseas might be surprised to find out that a number of the countries where measles is being transmitted are countries that would be surprising to them", Dr. Nancy Messonnier the director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said.
Health officials in Washington have declared a state of emergency over the measles outbreak. Washington also has a higher-than-average percentage of vaccine exemptions.
A measles outbreak near Portland, Ore., has revived a bitter debate over so-called personal belief exemptions to childhood vaccinations.
Measles is still a big problem in other parts of the world, and travelers infected overseas can bring back the virus, causing periodic outbreaks.
Herd immunity is a level of vaccination at which people who can't safely get vaccines (because they have HIV, cancer, or other conditions which make their immune systems more fragile) are protected.
If you suspect you have the measles or have been exposed to the virus, the CDC advises people to call their doctor immediately. DOH urges everyone to check their immunization records to verify that they are fully immunized and get vaccinated if they are not already.
The symptoms include a rash, a fever and flu-like symptoms. The virus lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person, and can survive for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed. Effective treatments for people with measles are largely limited to drinking lots of fluids, rest, Vitamin A and over the counter pain relievers.
Dr. John Bouldin, a pediatrician at LewisGale Medical Center, said about measles, "It was serious enough that [we thought], okay, we need a way to stop this, so that's why the vaccines came about. There is no magic bullet cure to fight it". The more people start opting out, the broader the risk becomes.
Measles virus travels through the air. Patients are contagious four days before and four days after getting the rash. The factually incorrect report was debunked many times over in the years that followed, but that hasn't stopped some parents from choosing to not vaccinate their children against diseases like measles, mumps, and rubella.
Foreign travel or exposure to foreign travelers increases the risk for measles.
If you are unsure of your family's immunization status, you can view, download and print your family's immunization information online at MyIR.net or request a copy of your immunization record from the Washington State Department of Health.
To stay updated with all the latest news, and offers.
- Celine Dion defends slimmer frame and discusses new man in her life
- Skipping breakfast won't ruin efforts to lose weight
- Amazon sales, profit top estimates as retail, advertising soar
- United States man fakes a fall on ice cubes to claim insurance
- Vikings 1987 NFC Championship Game QB Wade Wilson dies at 60
- Man Utd defender Jones declares intent to sign new contract
- Canada Cuts Staff in Cuba After Another Diplomat Falls Ill
- Asian Cup: UAE questions eligibility of two Qatar players before final
- Xbox Live Sign-In Issues Are Reportedly Resolved, Microsoft Offers Download Glitch Update
- Afghanistan Slips from Government Control