Scope of the Measles Outbreak and Why It's Worsening

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Public health officials said Wednesday that 38 cases are in southwest Washington state, one is outside Portland, Oregon, and one is in Seattle.

With worries about measles heightened because of an outbreak in Clark County, health care professionals say the best defense is to be immunized.

No cases of measles have been reported in Chelan or Douglas County.

Clark County Public Health says there are now 13 additional suspected cases.

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Many parents worry vaccinations pose a threat to their child's health. Although rubella was declared eliminated from the U.S.in 2004, cases can occur when unvaccinated people are exposed to infected people, mostly through worldwide travel. Two doses of this vaccine are almost 100-per-cent effective at preventing measles.

"Now is a great time for all families to take action by reviewing their vaccination records and be sure that everyone is up to date and has completed the vaccination series for measles", health officials said.

Measles cases are continuing to spike in Washington state. Most of the patients are children under 10, and one child has been hospitalized.

Opposition to vaccines is generally based on junk science that has been endorsed by celebrities like Jenny McCarthy who, with Oprah's help, falsely hinted that there may be something unsafe about the measles vaccine. After being eradicated in the states, outbreaks of the measles have begun to pop back up, especially in areas where the overall vaccination rate is lower than it's been in the past.

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The outbreak near Portland has sickened 35 people in OR and Washington since January 1, with 11 more cases suspected.

Early symptoms include a fever, runny nose and malaise, followed by a red rash that starts around the head and moves down the body. You can get measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been.

The CDC also says 81 people brought measles into the US from other countries last year-the greatest number of imported cases since the measles was eliminated from the U.S.in 2000. "And a few days after that, you get that famous rash". "We have no measles cases associated with this outbreak and we have no measles at all". Someone who has no immunity can get sick up to three weeks after they have been exposed to the virus.

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