Officials in the state of Washington have declared a state of emergency after a recent outbreak of measles, where there have been 36 confirmed cases across two counties.
Last year, there were 17 outbreaks and about 350 cases of measles in the U.S. He said the district's head nurse, Michelle Hyatt, is coordinating with the county to ensure schools are taking the appropriate steps. Four percent of Washington secondary school students have non-medical vaccine exemptions. Officials say 38 of the 39 confirmed cases were identified in Clark County, where vaccination rates are between 68 and 79 percent. In recent years, however, the viral illness has popped up again from NY to California and sickened hundreds.
Misinformation is circulating on social media, said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County public health director. If exposed to the virus, anyone who is not immune is likely to get measles.
Smith has made an appointment to get him the shot as soon as possible - the day after he turns one.
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Officials said, "false fears" of a link to autism, and the religious exemption has allowed the disease to re-emerge when it was once considered eradicated just 18 years ago.
Health officials say the outbreak is a textbook example of why it's critical to vaccinate against measles, which was eradicated in the US after the vaccine was introduced in 1963. Washington, Idaho and OR are among 18 states that allow parents to opt out of immunizing their children for philosophical reasons.
Those who may have been exposed should watch for early symptoms of high fever, malaise and red eyes, followed by a rash that starts on the head and moves down the body. It is an airborne disease which spreads easily through the coughs and sneezes of infected people.
Although there are many reasons why a parent who believes in vaccinations might not be able to get their child immunized (including allergies and illnesses), people are calling out this mom as "anti-vax" since her message went viral. It can take as long as two weeks for symptoms to first appear after someone is infected, increasing the likelihood of spreading the disease.