Tuesday, 20 August, 2019

Measles cases reported in several Houston-area communities

2019 Measles Outbreaks ABC NEWS2019 Measles Outbreaks
Gustavo Carr | 07 February, 2019, 19:24

The Vancouver Clinic, which operates medical offices and urgent-care centers in the area, reported that shots administered jumped from 263 in January 2018 to 1,444 last month, a almost 450 percent increase.

The Portland area is an anti-vaccination hot spot, and state data show only about 77 percent of Clark County kindergarteners had completed their vaccinations for the 2017-2018 school year, far below the roughly 95 percent of people that health experts say should be vaccinated to create "herd immunity" against a contagious disease like measles. Health officials have long anxious about the potential for an outbreak in the region. In King County, the rise was a more modest 13 percent, from 3,960 doses to 4,480. The virus spreads through the air and can linger for up to two hours in an isolated space.

The orders represent only state-supplied vaccines requested through the federal Vaccines for Children program, which provides free immunizations to children who otherwise couldn't afford them.

"I would rather it not take an outbreak for this to happen", he said.

The Multnomah County health department said Wednesday that the three new cases were in close contact with a person who tested positive for measles a week and a half ago.

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The case has not been linked to any other cases at this time, the health department said.

Most of the infections have occurred in children, under age 18, who were unvaccinated.

Measles is an airborne disease which is highly contagious but it is preventable.

"People that are actually infected with measles, one in four will get hospitalized and one in 1,000 may die", said Dana Beckham, director of Harris County Public Health.

Outbreaks, or clusters, of measles cases are typically due to exposure in foreign countries that do not have the same robust vaccination programs as the United States, Espinoza said. While most cases last about two weeks, some patients can develop risky infections in the lungs or even brain swelling from the virus.