Northwest US measles cases prompt look at vaccine exemptions

The anti-vaxx movement's role in the latest measles outbreak

Measles Outbreak Concerns Washoe County Health Department

Health officials traced the outbreak in Washington to an unvaccinated global traveler.

There is now a measles outbreak that started in Washington and has made its way to OR, and anti-vaxxers are the sole cause of this retro death threat. Liberal-leaning OR and Washington have some of the nation's highest statewide vaccine exemption rates, driven in part by low vaccination levels in scattered communities and at some private and alternative schools. In recent years, however, the viral illness has popped up again from NY to California and sickened hundreds.

The Chelan-Douglas Health District says state law requires children get the MMR or Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine or show proof of immunity before attending any public or private school or child care center.

Brown's comments Friday aren't the first time she's been outspoken about her support for immunizations, even though some Northwest areas rank among the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

Back in that 2004 school year, the vaccination rate was "getting close" to a threshold for herd immunity (around 95%), Clark County public health director Alan Melnick told Business Insider. A person can get measles just by being in a room where an infected person has been.

Officials haven't yet determined how the measles outbreak started.

Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease caused by the measles virus.

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One mum is concerned her 11-month-old is not eligible because the first to two shots in the measles series is given after one year of age.

At least 44 people in Washington and OR have fallen ill in recent weeks with the extraordinarily contagious virus, which was eradicated in the 2000 as a result of immunization but arrives periodically with overseas travellers.

However, some parents are concerned their children are not eligible for the vaccinations.

"I haven't taken the baby in public for 10 days".

The measles outbreak that has sickened 38 people in Washington state has spread to Hawaii and OR by travelers with the highly-contagious disease.

Symptoms of measles can often be similar to cold or flu symptoms, including: fever, diarrhea, coughing, runny nose, red and watery eyes, and fatigue.

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