BC residents warned of measles outbreak in Washington State

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, declared a statewide public health emergency for his state on Friday.

According to the Mayo Clinic, measles spreads when an infected individual coughs, sneezes or talks near other people. One child has been hospitalized.

Officials say it appears nearly all involve unvaccinated children under the age of 10.

Measles was eradicated in the US after a safe and cheap vaccine was developed in 1963, but in recent years, outbreaks from NY to California have sickened hundreds. In the 2004-2005 school year, 96 percent of Clark County kindergartners had been vaccinated against the measles, KATU 2 reports. Measles can be spread by coughing, sneezing, and even simply by breathing.

"We're asking people actually to be diagnosed in their homes and not actually go to the doctor's office because that can infect people in the office", Inslee said.

According to figures from Clark County Public Health, 27 of those infected had not gotten a measles vaccine.

Who cares if measles are the most contagious of any disease known to man.

"We already send the letters to the parents", said principal Andrey Dolbinin.

The first vaccine gives you a 93 percent protection against the measles and the second dose raises the effectiveness to 97 percent.

Clark County, which includes the Portland bedroom community of Vancouver, Washington, has a measles vaccination rate of 78 percent, well below the 92 to 94 percent rate required for so-called "herd immunity", said Marissa Armstrong, the department's spokeswoman.

The U.S. government recommends two vaccines that help prevent measles. Because some people like to claim personal exemptions to getting the vaccine.

If you may have been exposed and are experiencing symptoms, immediately notify your healthcare provider BY TELEPHONE explaining a possible measles exposure and symptoms. Thirty-two Clark County cases are unimmunized, and four are unverified. Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots may appear inside the mouth, and three to five days after symptoms, a rash may break out, beginning as flat red spots on the face at the hairline that spread down to the neck, trunk, arms and feet. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 percent of non-vaccinated individuals exposed to someone with the disease will also become infected.

Thousands have been exposed when those sick with measles have shown up in public places like where the Portland Trailblazers play. Those are the people who must love that beautiful red rash on the outside and small white spots in their mouths. The illness can have serious complications, such as pneumonia and encephalitis, or swelling of the brain.

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