The virus travels through the air and can stay up to two hours in the air of a room where a person with measles has been. Washington and NY, which has seen about 200 people infected with measles in recent months, are the only states with current outbreaks, the agency says. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if a person has measles, 90 per cent of those in proximity will also contract the virus unless they have been vaccinated or are immune.
The Multnomah County health department said Wednesday that the three new cases were in close contact with a person who tested positive for measles a week and a half ago. Among the confirmed cases, 43 were not immunized against the highly contagious disease. It causes a range of symptoms including fever, cough and a rash. According to the World Health Organization, before the introduction of measles vaccination in 1963, the virus caused 2.6 million deaths every year. Measles infection can have serious complications such as pneumonia, seizures and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). In Clark County, which has so far seen 49 measles cases in children mainly under 10, only 78 per cent of young people from kindergarten through high school have been vaccinated.
A report published by the European Commission past year and compiled by a team led by Ms Larson found measles immunisation coverage had fallen in 12 EU countries since 2010, and seven out of the 10 countries with the lowest vaccine confidence in the world were in Europe. In Washington state, permissive vaccination rules are being blamed for the outbreak.
"The measles vaccine isn't ideal, but one dose is 93 percent effective at preventing illness", said Dr. Alan Melnick of the Clark County Public Health Department.
Measles infections in Europe hit a decade high in 2018, despite more children than ever before receiving vaccinations. The outbreak in Clark County has been concentrated mostly among unvaccinated children. Orders of measles vaccines in the county reached 3,150 in January.
Only two provinces, Ontario and New Brunswick, require children to have updated vaccination records in order to enter school. One patient had received one dose of the MMR vaccine.
Multnomah County officials have reported a steep uptick in vaccinations over this time previous year. Julie Graham, a public information officer with the Health Department, said those reports are inaccurate.