19 Sick in This State's Measles Outbreak

Public health emergency declared in Clark County, Wash.
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2019 9:15 AM CST
Health 'Emergency' Strikes Washington: 19 Measles Cases
In this Aug. 6, 2018, file photo, a health worker prepares a syringe with a vaccine against measles in Rio de Janeiro.   (AP Photo/Leo Correa, File)

A public health emergency was declared Friday in Washington state's Clark County, and it's due to a measles outbreak. Per CNN, a Clark County Public Health release notes that, since Jan. 1, the department has IDed 19 confirmed cases of the highly contagious disease, as well as seven suspected ones. Just one of the patients is an adult, and of all the cases, 16 of the patients were verified as not having been immunized (it's not clear on the other three cases). The Oregonian notes that Clark County has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the state: More than one-fifth of all public school students there haven't had their shots. CNN and USA Today detail all of the well-frequented public places that infected patients have so far visited: schools, churches, restaurants, Portland International Airport, hospitals, and stores like Costco and Ikea.

One patient was even said to have attended a Portland Trail Blazers game across the border at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore., on Jan. 11, though a Multnomah County release on Friday said no Oregon residents have yet been infected. Back in Washington, a warning has been issued to people who think they might be sick. "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," Clark County officials note. Symptoms include a dry cough, fever, tiny white spots on the inside of the cheek, and the trademark blotchy skin rash, per the Mayo Clinic. (More measles stories.)

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