Confirmed Measles Cases In Oregon

Gillian Flaccus  APA sign is posted at The Vancouver Clinic in Vancouver Wash. to warn patients and visitors of a measles outbreak Jan. 30 2019

Measles can be exceptionally risky for young children and infants.

Three people in the Houston area have contracted measles, Harris County Public Health officials said Monday.

"Upon finding and verifying that there is a measles case in Arizona, we activate our emergency operations center", she said.

The Oregon Health Authority reported that the number of measles vaccines in the last week of January tripled in the tri-county area (Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties).

At least 10 states are reporting cases of measles across the nation.

Since measles is no longer endemic (constantly present) in the United States, how are these outbreaks occurring?

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According to the Texas DSHS, "Measles is a highly contagious respiratory illness spread by contact with an infected person through coughing and sneezing". People who have never received a measles vaccine are susceptible to the disease, which can be deadly.

The health department said they are taking all precautionary measures to prevent the disease from spreading with five measles cases reported in Harris, Montgomery and Galveston country earlier this week.

Symptoms include fever, dry cough, runny nose, sore throat, inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis), tiny white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background found inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek, and a skin rash made up of large, flat blotches that often flow into one another.

Officials declined to say how old the person is or give any other identifying information, but they are contacting people who may have been exposed.

Under the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) of the DOH, the first dose of the MMR vaccine is administered to children aged between 9 and 11 months old while the second dose is given at age 12-15 months old. "In a sense, we already saw that in 2018, but it looks like cases may pick up more in 2019". Once quite common, measles can now nearly always be prevented with a vaccine.

File Image: Measles vaccine prevents the disease.

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