The current measles outbreak in Clark County and one diagnosed case in King County are examples of why the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine is a crucial requirement.
Signss posted at The Vancouver Clinic in Vancouver, Washington warn patients and visitors of a measles outbreak that has sickened 40 people in the Pacific Northwest and has spread to Hawaii and Oregon.
The vast majority of the cases - 37 out of 42 in Clark County - were linked to people who did not have vaccinations for measles.
900 miles away here in Utah, Intermountain Health Care experts like Dr. Tamara Sheffield are urging the public to get vaccines for their kids if they haven't yet.
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.
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"Sustaining a high vaccination rate among school children is vital to the prevention of disease outbreaks, including the reestablishment of diseases that have been largely eradicated in the United States, such as measles", the bill states. "Thirteen additional suspected cases were reported Wednesday, and some of those will likely be confirmed", the AP reported. Washington now has a sufficient supply of MMR vaccine for children and adults; however, as the outbreak continues, vaccine supply may be affected.
We need most people in the population to be vaccinated in order to maintain our "herd immunity". Most of the confirmed cases have been children under 10. In Georgia, the Department of Health has confirmed that three members of the same family had contracted the disease.
Early symptoms include a fever, runny nose and malaise, followed by a rash that starts around the head and moves down the body. Vaccination is a fool-proof method to curb the spread of measles.
Nearly everyone who is not immune will get measles if they are exposed to the measles virus.
People are contagious with measles for up to four days before and up to four days after the rash appears.