US measles emergency

Medical syringe for measles vaccine

In the state of Washington in the US, a state of emergency has been declared due to an outbreak of measles. According to a proclamation by Governor Jay Inslee, as of 24 January 2019 the Washington State Department of Health has confirmed the existence of 25 cases in Clark County and one case in King County.

Inslee highlighted that the virus is highly contagious and can be fatal in small children. He said that the confirmed cases have created an ‘extreme public health risk’ and that the disease may quickly spread to other countries.

The disease is spread through the air through coughing and sneezing and symptoms include a high fever, rash all over the body and red eyes. Although symptoms tend to disappear with treatment within around two to three weeks, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention one or two of every 1,000 children who contract the disease will die from complications.

The proclamation states that the measles vaccine is effective at preventing the disease and that proactive steps to provide the vaccination must be taken quickly to prevent further spread of the disease.