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The measles outbreak spreads across a Washington county known for choosing not to vaccinate its children, and health officials declare a public health emergency.
USA TODAY

The outbreak of New York and Washington state illnesses has public health administrators having a disease eradicated in the United States nearly two decades ago.

The state of Washington has declared a public emergency in the wake of an outbreak of Clark County with an infection of at least 53 people, usually children. Another four cases have been confirmed in neighboring Multnomah County, Oregon. Another case has been identified with King County, which includes Seattle.

Clark County public health officials have been scared of the fact that rapidly spreading measles was given to a county's unoccupied children cluster.

Nearly one in four kindergarten students in the school year of 2017-18 did not get all of their vaccines, according to data from the Washington Department of Health. In three county schools, more than 40 percent of kindergartners have not received all the recommended shots before beginning school.

"When there is a large number of people who are not immune and introduced the measles in that population, such as putting a lighted match on a tin of gasoline," says Alan Melnick, Clark County's public health director. "It's fast spreading."

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The measles outbreak in the Pacific Northwest ruins 38 people today and forces some people to change their daily routine. A mother says she does not take her 11-month-old child to the public until she gets the measles vaccine at the age of one. (January 30)
[19456519] AP

Allows all but 3 states non-medical reasons to skip vaccines

In general, Melnick says public health departments want to get up to 95 percent population against measles to produce bamboo safety. Such immune vaccine protects against highly infectious viruses, which can spread to the air. It also protects people who are not immunized because they have other medical conditions.

State laws generally require parents of school-aged children to show evidence of immunization before beginning school.

All but three states – California, Mississippi and West Virginia – allow parents to reject immunization for non-medical reasons, such as religious or personal beliefs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The danger is when there are many children in a single setting, such as a school or a church, which is not vaccinated.

"You need a high enough rate of vaccine to prevent the spread of measles," Melnick said.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 79 measles cases in the United States. More than Washington and Oregon, cases were reported in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas.

People do not know how hurt you are

New York The outbreak is the largest state in decades, says Jill Montag, a spokeswoman for the New York State Department of Health .

More than 200 cases have been reported in Rockland and Orange county and four Brooklyn neighbors since October. Most of these cases have been identified last year, but some new cases continue to flow. There were two dozen Rockland and Orange counties from January 1. The two neighbors of Brooklyn reported 3 cases last week.

Brooklyn cases focus on the Orthodox Jewish community. The collapse began when a child who was not immunized was infected with visiting Israel. Israel itself is experiencing a major outbreak, according to the New York City Department of Health.

New York health officials exclude thousands of unemployed children from 29 schools and daycare centers where other children may be exposed to the virus. They also launched immunization vaccines.

"We will continue our aggressive, multi-pronged response, until it is clear that the outbreak is contained," said Montag.

Most parents seek out vaccines for their children in Clark and Multnomah counties, officials said.

Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Center for Children's Health Education in Philadelphia, said that refusal to get immunized parents is permitted to return to a contagious disease.

In 2015, an overseas carrier infected with measles visited Disneyland, spreading in some states and infected 147 individuals. In 2017, a community outbreak of the Somali-American community in Minnesota experienced 75 people, according to the CDC.

"People are not afraid of measles," said Offit. "Not only did we get rid of these disorders, we have lost memory of these diseases. People do not realize how hurt you are."

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