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Measles Outbreak Grows in Northwest, 30 Cases Reported

he number of confirmed measles cases near Portland grew from 25 to 30 on Friday, with nine additional cases suspected.

Posted: Jan 25, 2019 1:53 PM

By GILLIAN FLACCUS , Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The number of confirmed measles cases near Portland grew from 25 to 30 on Friday, with nine additional cases suspected — an outbreak boosted by lower-than-normal vaccination rates in what's been identified as an anti-vaccination U.S. "hot spot."

Public health officials in southwest Washington, just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon, said people may have been exposed to the dangerous disease at more than three dozen locations , including Portland International Airport, a Portland Trail Blazers game, an Amazon Locker location and stores such as Costco and Ikea.

Twenty-six of the confirmed patients had not been vaccinated against measles and the vaccination status of four others who were infected is unknown. One person has been hospitalized.

Most of the cases involved children younger than 10, the Clark County Public Health Department said in a statement. One adult is infected and the rest are teenagers.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, declared a statewide public health emergency for his state on Friday and authorities in neighboring Oregon and Idaho have issued warnings to residents.

Inslee said the number of cases "creates an extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties."

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.

Herd immunity happens when unvaccinated individuals are protected from infection because almost everyone around them has been vaccinated and is immune to a disease.

The measles vaccination rate for 2-year-olds in Multnomah County, home to Portland, was 87 percent in 2017, according to state data. The measles vaccine consists of two shots, one given by age 2 and the second usually between ages 4 and 6.

Data on Portland's vaccination rate for both shots wasn't immediately available.

Two doses of the vaccine in childhood are 97 percent effective and provide lifetime immunity. One dose is about 93 percent effective.

Both Washington and Oregon allow vaccine exemptions for personal and philosophical reasons. Armstrong said the vaccine exemption rate in Clark County for non-medical reasons was high, at 7.5 percent.

People who have the measles can be contagious for four days before showing symptoms.

The virus, spread by coughing or sneezing, can remain in the air for up to two hours in an isolated space. Ninety percent of people exposed to measles who have not been vaccinated will get it, public health officials said.

Every time an unvaccinated person who's been exposed to measles goes out in public, "it starts that clock over again," Armstrong said. "That's the fear."

Earlier this week, authorities were successful in identifying several people who had been exposed but were not sick yet. Those people stayed home and later got ill, Armstrong said.

"We're taking that as a win. That's how we're going to be able to slow this down is keeping these people out of a public setting," she said. "People are helping us and staying home."

Officials still are not sure where the outbreak began.

The first known patient sought medical care on Dec. 31, but it is unknown if other people may have gotten sick before that and did not seek treatment.

Those who may have been exposed should watch for early symptoms of fever and malaise and then a rash starting on the head and moving down the body. Serious complications such pneumonia and brain infections can arise from the disease in some cases.

People who think they may have the measles should contact their health care provider before visiting to avoid exposing others.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 391099

Reported Deaths: 5161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60298839
Washington41981395
Marion39886506
Clackamas32773378
Lane30113355
Jackson24880360
Deschutes23557185
Umatilla15126180
Linn14637179
Douglas13375291
Josephine10148244
Yamhill9762143
Klamath9053146
Polk8212100
Benton609738
Malheur592487
Coos5664106
Columbia430455
Jefferson420266
Lincoln362152
Union338755
Crook334056
Wasco316146
Clatsop261835
Baker219833
Tillamook216645
Hood River213737
Morrow197525
Curry191939
Harney119933
Grant108515
Lake105416
Wallowa75713
Sherman1913
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 5083462

Reported Deaths: 74473
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152713227166
San Diego4069274335
Riverside3876785358
San Bernardino3745435962
Orange3343985725
Sacramento1683542443
Kern1576621804
Fresno1567952254
Santa Clara1520891925
Alameda1251761504
San Joaquin1075591834
Ventura1040031190
Contra Costa1037721046
Stanislaus915481417
Tulare860871096
San Francisco56909669
San Mateo56320629
Monterey52488626
Solano47671357
Santa Barbara47293549
Merced45053667
Sonoma43168412
Placer42141470
Imperial38477773
Kings35206363
San Luis Obispo31476359
Madera26194311
Shasta26081451
Butte25455314
Santa Cruz22248224
Yolo21558257
Marin18465249
El Dorado18301166
Sutter14571186
Napa13420104
Yuba1076089
Tehama10275130
Humboldt10158119
Nevada10019105
Mendocino857197
Lassen796756
San Benito781578
Tuolumne773090
Lake7043110
Amador577366
Siskiyou474755
Glenn457436
Calaveras441588
Del Norte375542
Colusa325220
Inyo256646
Plumas19367
Mono18784
Mariposa160018
Trinity99717
Modoc7655
Unassigned3220
Sierra2180
Alpine1080
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