Unvaccinated children are bringing the sickness back to the forefront in the U.S.
A state of emergency was declared by Gov. Jay Inslee on Sunday, January 27th, 2019 following 34 cases of the measles popping up in Clark County near the border with Oregon, and more cases are suspected to come.
Of the current total, 24 patients are children between the ages of 1 and 10. Thirty of the cases where in people who were not vaccinated, and the remaining 4 remain unconfirmed.
Is this a big deal? Yes. Measles is a highly contagious sickness that can be fatal in children. It kills about one or two kids in every 1,000 who get it, according to the CDC. It spreads easily through the air when patients cough and sneeze and unfortunately, state officials may have a difficult time containing this month’s outbreak.
Reports indicate that people infected with the illness traveled to a Portland Trail Blazers home game in Oregon and the Portland International Airport as well as hospitals, stores, schools, churches and restaurants in and around Washington’s Clark County and the two-state region while contagious.
The news marks a step backwards in public health. Back in 1982, the CDC declared that measles had been eliminated from the United States as a whole. Essentially, there was an absence of continuous disease transmission for more than a year, at that time.
Since the rise in unvaccinated children, this is no longer the case. For more on vaccines, how they’re safe and when to get them, click here.