Surprise! A bunch of kids who weren't vaccinated now have the measles


The AP noted that Clark County, Washington, has a vaccination rate of 78 percent, which is too low to protect those with compromised immune systems, those who can not get vaccinated because of medical problems, or those who are too young. "We have no measles cases associated with this outbreak and we have no measles at all".

"I wouldn't say there's any reason to worry, I'd just say folks should get prepared as best they can", Henderson said.

Back in that 2004 school year, the vaccination rate was "getting close" to a threshold for herd immunity (around 95%), Clark County public health director Alan Melnick told Business Insider. The states of OR and Washington are now dealing with an outbreak of measles, which had previously been eliminated in the entire United States as recently as 2000.

DPH urges healthcare providers to maintain heightened awareness for patients with measles or symptoms of measles. Clark County Public Health said in a statement Wednesday there are also 13 suspected cases. Officials have not yet determined how the measles outbreak started. Meanwhile, two confirmed cases of the disease in Hawaii are being blamed on unvaccinated Washington children who visited the island recently. One dose of the measles vaccine gives 93 percent lifelong immunity; a second dose between ages 4 and 6 provides 97 percent immunity. But it is still a big problem in other parts of the world, and travelers infected overseas can bring the virus back and spread it, causing periodic outbreaks.

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As long as people in the community aren't vaccinated, doctors say there is potential for an outbreak. Melnick said one need look no further than his county's official Facebook page to glimpse the rampant (and at times sophisticated) anti-vaccine propaganda that's spreading around the area.

People who think they may have the measles should call their health care provider before showing up so the facility can take steps to limit other people's exposure.

Measles symptoms include high fever, cough, red and watery eyes, and a rash that usually appears around three days after symptoms first manifest.