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Washington is under a state of emergency as measles cases rise

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There are 36 confirmed cases of measles in the state of Washington -- an outbreak that has already prompted Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency.

Posted: Jan 30, 2019 7:10 AM
Updated: Jan 30, 2019 7:10 AM

As of Monday, there are 36 confirmed cases of measles in the state of Washington -- an outbreak that has already prompted Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency.

"Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children," Inslee said in his proclamation on Friday, adding that these cases create "an extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties."

There were 35 cases of the measles in Clark County, which sits on the state's southern border, just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. Officials said 31 of the cases involved people who have not had a measles immunization; the other four are not verified. Of the 35 cases, 25 are children between age 1 and 10. There are also 11 suspected cases in Clark County.

There is also one case in King County, which includes Seattle. While the King County website says the patient, a man in his 50s, is a "suspected case," the governor said in a news release it is a confirmed case of measles.

In a health alert from King County, it was said the man had recently traveled to Clark County.

Inslee's proclamation allows agencies and departments to use state resources and "do everything reasonably possible to assist affected areas."

Meanwhile, the state legislature has introduced a bill that would ban personal exemptions for the measles vaccine. The proposed legislation was sent to the House Health Care & Wellness Committee.

A news release on the governor's website says the Washington State Department of Health, or DOH, has implemented an infectious disease incident management structure so it can manage the public health aspects of the outbreak through investigations and lab testing.

The Washington Military Department, the release says, is organizing resources to assist the DOH and local officials in easing the effects on people, property and infrastructure.

Last week, a person infected with measles attended a Portland Trail Blazers home game in Oregon amid the outbreak. Contagious people also went to Portland International Airport, as well as to hospitals, schools, stores, churches and restaurants across Washington's Clark County and the two-state region, county officials said.

Most patients with symptoms should call first

Measles is a contagious virus that spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Symptoms such as high fever, rash all over the body, stuffy nose and red eyes typically disappear without treatment within two or three weeks. One or two of every 1,000 children who get measles will die from complications, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 1978, the CDC set a goal to eliminate measles from the United States by 1982. Measles was declared eliminated -- defined by absence of continuous disease transmission for greater than 12 months -- from the United States in 2000.

But there has been a recent rise in unvaccinated children. The proportion of children receiving no vaccine doses by 2 years old rose from 0.9% among those born in 2011 to 1.3% among those born in 2015, the CDC reported in October.

In Clark County, Washington, where the current outbreak is occurring, 7.9% of children entering kindergarten had vaccine exemptions during the 2017-18 school year, according to the Washington State Department of Health. During the same school year, 7.5% of children in all grades in the county had vaccine exemptions.

"That's a high number," CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta said Monday. "Once you start to dip below 95% vaccination you start to lose the herd immunity. I have immunity because I got the vaccine but I'm also protecting people around me due to the herd. Once you start to drop down as low as you see there (in Clark County), you lose that herd immunity and that's also part of the concern," he explained.

The CDC recommends people get the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to protect against those viruses. The typical recommendations are that children should get two doses of MMR vaccine, the first between 12 to 15 months of age and the second between 4 and 6 years old.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 20573

Reported Deaths: 878
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Hennepin6918534
Ramsey231697
Stearns192312
Nobles14572
Anoka116455
Dakota105935
Olmsted55110
Washington50626
Kandiyohi4541
Clay36623
Rice3652
Scott3462
Wright2401
Sherburne2081
Todd1970
Benton1662
Carver1612
Mower1501
Steele1400
Martin1245
Blue Earth1121
St. Louis11113
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Carlton730
Nicollet683
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Otter Tail550
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Cass113
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Brown112
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Pennington70
Pope70
Aitkin60
Wadena60
Yellow Medicine50
Koochiching50
Lincoln50
Mahnomen51
Renville50
Lac qui Parle30
Red Lake30
Big Stone30
Redwood30
Traverse30
Grant20
Houston20
Clearwater20
Hubbard10
Kittson10
Lake10
Roseau10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 17227

Reported Deaths: 456
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk3714108
Woodbury255524
Black Hawk167639
Linn92775
Marshall86611
Dallas84914
Johnson5987
Muscatine54339
Wapello5004
Crawford4772
Tama39023
Louisa3347
Scott3319
Dubuque31916
Jasper25616
Buena Vista2310
Pottawattamie2106
Sioux1990
Washington1798
Allamakee1184
Wright1170
Plymouth1080
Warren1060
Story941
Poweshiek888
Bremer676
Henry611
Clinton601
Boone540
Des Moines531
Mahaska526
Cedar451
Guthrie433
Taylor370
Benton371
Jones360
Monroe334
Iowa320
Clarke320
Osceola320
Shelby310
Buchanan310
Clayton303
Marion290
Webster271
Fayette260
Hamilton260
Madison241
Monona230
Cerro Gordo221
Lee220
Winneshiek210
Davis200
Lyon190
Grundy190
Harrison190
Floyd181
Jefferson150
Cherokee150
Butler150
Mills140
Delaware140
Humboldt130
Sac130
Greene130
Keokuk130
Hardin130
Howard120
Hancock120
Appanoose123
Audubon111
Jackson110
Cass110
Ida100
Page100
Clay100
Winnebago100
Carroll90
Van Buren80
Franklin80
Dickinson80
Adair80
Chickasaw80
Kossuth70
Emmet70
Lucas60
Montgomery60
Union60
Adams50
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Pocahontas40
Mitchell40
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