Sudden outbreak of measles prompts emergency declaration, renews vaccination debate

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Washington State is under a measles state of emergency as measles cases grow and hot spots are flaring up across the country. Public health officials said they have not identified any new locations where people may have been exposed to measles.

The best response may be to lay out the facts about the harms of contracting a vaccine-preventable illness and explain that their child is susceptible, not to simply tell them they must vaccinate their kids.

Dr. Scott Lindquist, a Washington state epidemiologist, said the state health department is seeing new cases every day. For information about other measles cases in Washington, visit the Washington State Department of Health measles webpage.

Reports that some people are self-medicating with vitamin A have also surfaced, leading the Washington State Department of Health to warn in a tweet that vitamin A has no effect on measles and that "the only way to avoid getting measles is to be vaccinated against it".

The virus can linger in the air for up to two hours after an infected person leaves the area, and causes fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a rash.

A child who received only one dose of the measles vaccine is the newest person diagnosed with the disease, according to a Friday update from Clark County Public Health.

And public health officials like Sammons have expressed concern over the small but growing number of unvaccinated children in the United States. So what can you do to help keep measles out of this community? Older children and adults, even if they've never been vaccinated, may have developed natural immunity through previous infections. Sixberry says it's important that patients know their measles vaccination status.

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"We should all be anxious when a vaccine-preventable illness is coming back into our country", Sammons said. More than 95 percent of individuals who get the vaccine after 12 months of age will develop an immunity to all three viruses.

The measles virus is very infectious. Two doses of the vaccine are about 97 percent effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93 percent effective.

Most of the time, as with other childhood viruses, people weather it fine, but there can be complications.

Three new instances of measles had been confirmed by health officers in Houston on Monday, making it the most modern metropolis to have them as soon as-eradicated illness seems in the latest weeks.

Dr. Shamard Charles is a physician-journalist for NBC News and Today, reporting on health policy, public health initiatives, diversity in medicine, and new developments in health care research and medical treatments.

That is why you need to get vaccinated. "It is very clear that there is no connection between vaccination and autism", Richards said.

In all, at least 79 cases have been reported nationwide this year.