Measles case confirmed in Central Texas

Leslie Hanson
February 7, 2019

The region's measles outbreak began in Clark County, Washington, where since January 1, health officials had confirmed 49 cases and suspected nine others as of Tuesday morning.

Two other potential cases are pending testing.

The rapid spread the virus prompted Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency at the end of January, saying the outbreak represented an "extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties". Only 76.5 percent of kindergartners in Clark County had all the standard immunizations during the 2017-2018 school year.

But, that might be about to change. As the threat of measles has become all too real in Clark County, residents are lining up for vaccines, according to data first reported by Kaiser Health News. That is almost a 500 percent jump in orders from January previous year, when the total was just 530. Statewide vaccine figures also reflect a boost. One person had one dose of the vaccine, which is 93 percent effective. Forty-two patients were not immunized against the virus, while health officials had not verified the immunization status of six patients.

But it's a snapshot of the scare an outbreak can cause, said Dr. Alan Melnick, the Clark County health officer overseeing the response.

"Usually, you'll see individuals who may have went overseas, were not fully vaccinated and then came back and had the disease", Espinoza said.

The health department said they are taking all precautionary measures to prevent the disease from spreading.

Measles is transmitted through direct contact with an infected person or through the air when the infected person coughs or sneezes.

A person can carry measles for up to two weeks before symptoms show.

Demand for measles vaccine has surged in Clark County, where the highly contagious virus is linked to more than 50 confirmed illnesses this year - including among people who had previously shunned the shots. Measles infection can have serious complications such as pneumonia, seizures and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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