As Measles Spreads, The Local Health District Urges People to Ge - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

As Measles Spreads, The Local Health District Urges People to Get Vaccinated

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Washington has seen an increase in measles cases from previous years. Washington has seen an increase in measles cases from previous years.

TRI-CITIES, WA- The Benton Franklin Health District urges people to get vaccinated for measles to prevent getting it and possibly spreading it to others.

Measles has made national headlines recently after health experts believe it spread from an infected person attending Disney Land in California.

The Benton Franklin Health District said measles is actually one of the most contagious viruses out there and it is also deadly. 

On average, the U.S. sees around 60 cases a year, but in 2013 there were nearly 200 cases.

In Washington, there is an average of less than five cases a year, but last year there were 32 reported cases.

So far, there are not any reported cases in Yakima County or in the Tri-Cities.  The Benton Franklin Health District said they have not seen a case in about 10 years.

Even though most people are vaccinated, the health district advises those who have not been vaccinated, to do so.

"We're certainly encouraging not only unimmunized children, but adults who might be at risk who aren't sure if they've had measles as a child and maybe didn't get vaccinated as a child.  They certainly need to consider getting vaccinated also," said Heather Hill, Communicable Disease Program Supervisor with the Benton Franklin Health District.

The Benton Franklin Health District also said the increase in measles cases will only increase if more people are not vaccinated.  With viruses, about 90% of the community needs to be vaccinated to make those risks go down.  The group at risk the most is babies under 12 months old.
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