Measles outbreak in the northwest, 1 confirmed case in Colorado

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With 35 cases of measles now in an outbreak in the Vancouver, WA area, lawmakers are looking to put a stop to the personal exemption silliness. The disease is so contagious that 90 per cent of unvaccinated people who are exposed will catch it.

Lindquist added that officials are particularly concerned that "folks that are immuno-compromised - pregnant women, young kids and those that are unvaccinated - could be at risk for this disease" without realizing it because the telltale measles rash might not appear for four days into the sickness.

Since then nine new cases have been confirmed, all in Clark County, which borders Portland, Ore., creating concern in that state as well.

If you are unsure of your family's immunization status, you can view, download and print your family's immunization information online at or request a copy of your immunization record from the Washington State Department of Health.

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

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In this January 25, 2019 photo, a sign at the entrance to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, Washington prohibits all children under 12 and unvaccinated adults due to the number of measles cases in Clark County.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that is airborne, meaning it spreads via sneezing and coughing. 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.

Doctors say the full vaccine is 97 per cent effective and protects you for life.

Before the vaccine was introduced in 1963 measles was the single leading killer of children in the world. In 2000, officials declared that measles had been officially eliminated from the U.S.

In Clark County, which borders on Portland, almost seven percent of children were exempted from required kindergarten entry vaccines in the 2017-2018 school year for non-medical reasons, according to Isaac Stanley-Becker of the Washington Post.

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People who choose not to vaccinate their children are underestimating the dangers of the illness, said Melnick, who himself had measles as a child, before the vaccine was commonplace. In 2015, there were 188 cases, including some linked to an outbreak that started at the Disneyland amusement park.

Vaccination rates in OR and Southwest Washington, where measles first broke out, are comparatively low.

"Measles was eliminated from the USA in 2000, but it's been allowed to return", Peter Hotez, an infectious diseases researcher at Baylor College of Medicine, tells Vox.

Measles symptoms begin with a high fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash that usually begins at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.

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