measles

WASHINGTON, U.S. - Almost everyday there are new confirmed cases of measles.

"So Clark County has 34 confirmed cases of measles and King County has one confirmed case. Both of those counties have published the exposure sites," said Lori Kelley, Senior Director, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic.

Kelley says there are no confirmed or suspected cases in the eastern part of Washington state.

However, people who traveled to the areas impacted may have been in close contact with the illness.

For anyone questioning if they have measles they should check for the following symptoms, "High fever, runny nose, red watery eyes, cough, small white sores in your mouth and a rash and individuals might be carrying or might be contagious for 7 to 21 days before they actually start to develop symptoms," said Kelley.

The reason for the outbreak is unknown, but reports reveal that 30 of the cases are from people who were unimmunized and most of the cases are from children between 1 to 10 years old.

"There is a large population in Washington and in the Pacific Northwest and really across the country of people who choose not to vaccinate," said Kelley.

She says there are many reasons people choose to not get vaccinated.

"A parent has the right whether it's their social, cultural, religious belief; a parents has the right to not vaccinate their child," said Kelley.

Kelley also says a person that does not have the proper vaccination and becomes infected with measles can end up with a more serious infection like pneumonia.

She also says the virus is hard to control and predict where it could end up next.

If you have questions about your immunity you can call your healthcare provider.

The links below show the areas where measles have been tracked.

Clark County: https://www.clark.wa.gov/public-health/measles-investigation?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

King County: https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/news/2019/January/23-measles.aspx?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

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