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04 Feb 2019

A measles outbreak near Portland, Oregon, USA has sparked a public health emergency in nearby Clark County, Washington.

Health officials in Clark County had declared the emergency because the number of measles infected people in the area was growing rapidly.

With more than 20 cases confirmed in just a couple of weeks to mid-January, officials said the majority of those who fell ill from the virus had not been immunised against it.

Schools, churches, shops, department stores and even a dentist clinic have all been named as places where people known to have been infected with measles had visited.

Portland International Airport and a home game of the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team were other locations where people with measles were pinpointed to have been.

Health officials said it was disturbing that there was such an outbreak of measles when there is a safe and effective vaccine for it.

Clark County data shows 7.9 per cent of school children there were exempt from vaccines required for kindergarten entry in 2017-18 – with most of those being exempted for personal or religious reasons rather than medical dispensation.

Clark Country is now labelled as a hotspot for measles, with most of the cases being children under 11.




Published: 04 Feb 2019