Washington governor declares state of emergency over measles outbreak

With the measles outbreak declared a state of emergency in Washington state, health experts are feverishly working to contain the viral illness.

In Friday's statement from the office, Inslee said, "Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children". The measles vaccine is available as a combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, and is available from your local health unit, family doctor, and many pharmacists. At the time there were 26 confirmed measles cases. One case has now reportedly spread to Kings County, which includes Seattle, Washington.

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Twenty-six of the confirmed patients had not been vaccinated against measles, and the vaccination status of four others who were infected is unknown. Data from a National Immunization Survey also revealed that the number of children reaching age 2 without having received any vaccinations has increased gradually, from 0.9% for children born in 2011 to 1.3% for children born in 2015. Authorities in neighboring OR and Idaho have issued warnings.

They announced Monday that others could have been infected at the popular Oregon Museum of Science & Industry in Portland and a Walmart Supercenter in Vancouver, Washington. But measles is still a big problem in other parts of the world, and travellers infected overseas can bring the virus back and spread it, causing periodic outbreaks.

The U.S. government recommends two vaccines that help prevent measles.

Pakistan's top court to rule on call for appeal against Asia Bibi
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In the US last year, there were 17 outbreaks and about 350 cases of measles. However, state laws allowing parents to opt out of mandatory vaccinations quickly began eroding those statistics, leading to outbreaks across the nation.

But there has been a recent rise in unvaccinated children. The first known patient sought medical care on December 31, but it is unknown if other people may have gotten sick before that and did not seek treatment.

The first vaccine gives you a 93 percent protection against the measles and the second dose raises the effectiveness to 97 percent. To this day, it still kills 100,000 children a year worldwide, most under the age of five. Infected droplets from the individual with measles can spray into the air or land on a surface, where they remain active and contagious for hours.

Most of the people who have contracted the disease were not vaccinated.

Measles usually manifests as a combination of high fever, as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit, along with what is known as the three Cs: cough, coryza (another word for runny nose), and conjunctivitis or pink eye, Sammons explained.

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