Measles Myths: As Outbreak Spreads, How To Keep Your Kids Safe

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These states have particularly high levels - or "hot spots" - of unvaccinated children and are vulnerable to measles outbreaks, according to a study by Hotez and his colleagues that published previous year. Authorities say nine additional cases are suspected. As of this writing, 35 confirmed cases of the deadly and extraordinarily virulent disease have been confirmed, and several more patients are now suspected of having contracted it. Washington's governor has declared a state of emergency. It is paramount that no more people get infected and that the outbreak is contained.

The virus, spread by coughing or sneezing, can remain in the air for up to two hours in an isolated space. The current law in place allows parents to decline immunization for children based on "philosophical or personal objections", health risks as confirmed by a licensed physician, or religious beliefs.

Before mass vaccination, 400 to 500 people in the United States died of the measles every year, 50,000 people were hospitalized and 4,000 people developed brain swelling that can cause deafness, Melnick said. Two doses are about 97% effective.

Adults should have at least one dose of MMR vaccine.

Now that some people aren't getting the vaccine it's becoming a major health issue.

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The U.S. government recommends two vaccines that help prevent measles. Once a person has measles, about 90% of close contacts who are susceptible to it will develop the disease, she added.

Here's why the current outbreak in Washington is a flawless example of what can happen when parents do not vaccinate their children for philosophical or religious reasons - and how exactly that can put their own kids, and others, at risk.

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.

"We actually don't have any confirmed cases here in Lane County", said Jason Davis, Lane County Health and Human Services Public Information Officer. "Almost everyone who is not immune will get measles if they are exposed to the virus".

In Friday's statement, Inslee said, "Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children".

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He also said the disease still poses a serious threat many appear to have forgotten about.

She also urges anyone who is concerned about measles to speak to a health care provider before coming into the office. Most people who are diagnosed as having measles are not vaccinated or did not know their vaccination status.

But it's important to remember that measles is not just a childhood illness and it's never too late to have the vaccine.

Hawaii allowed the infected visitors to leave five days after the onset of measles, which can be spread to others four days before and four days after the rash begins, according to the Oregonian. He explained that people are being dissuaded from vaccinating themselves and their children against the disease to stop the spread of this infection.

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