State Health Department hasn't confirmed measles "patient zero"

Maricruz Casares
Febrero 8, 2019

Measles can also cause pregnant women to give birth prematurely or deliver a low-birth weight baby.

These new Multnomah County cases are linked to the Clark County outbreak. As soon as vaccination rates fall, old diseases re-emerge.

The virus travels through the air and can stay up to two hours in the air of a room where a person with measles has been.

"This outbreak has put people at real risk", said Ann Thomas, public health physician at the Oregon Health Authority.

Only two provinces, Ontario and New Brunswick, require children to have updated vaccination records in order to enter school.

"I would rather it not take an outbreak for this to happen", he said.

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.

"Just because this was the first case we identified and confirmed, does not mean they are "patient zero" and the source of the outbreak", Armstrong said in an email.

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"These outbreaks are associated with travelers who brought measles back from Israel and Ukraine, where large measles outbreaks are occurring", the CDC says.

Ukraine reported the highest number of measles cases a year ago across Europe, while more than 90% of cases were in 10 countries, including France, Italy and Greece.

Multnomah County officials have reported a steep uptick in vaccinations over this time a year ago.

The best way to prevent measles infection is with 2 doses of the MMR vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends children get two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine - one between 12 and 15 months and the second between ages 4 and 6 - to be fully protected against measles. It progresses to the telltale measles rash three to five days later, which breaks out all over the body and can be accompanied by fever spikes above 104 degrees Fahrenheit. In Washington state, permissive vaccination rules are being blamed for the outbreak.

In many countries, anti-vaccine campaigners seek to dissuade parents from getting their children immunised, despite strong scientific evidence that vaccines are safe and effective.

Research has confirmed that vaccines don't cause autism, a common reason cited by parents who reject vaccinations.

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