A recent outbreak of the measles in Clark County, Washington, sees 22 people — among them unvaccinated children — confirmed with the virus. Authorities are now preparing to call those that have been exposed.
Already, it has been confirmed that many of the confirmed cases of measles involve children aged 10 and younger. KOMO News reports that 16 of the cases “are for children under 10 years old.” In addition, “four cases are for youth 11 to 18 years old, and one person is between 19 and 29 years old.”
Of the 22 confirmed cases, 19 belong to people who have not been immunized against the virus. The latest person confirmed as having contracted measles in an unvaccinated child, according to Oregon Live.
Currently, there are also three other suspected measles cases in the county.
It has also been confirmed that three more locations have been identified in relation to the outbreak. The OPB lists “Memorial Urgent Care in Vancouver from 4:30 to 7:50 p.m. on Saturday, January 19, and the Dollar Tree on Northeast 76th Street in Vancouver from 8:10 to 10:50 p.m. on Tuesday, January 15” as two of these sites. Orchards Elementary School in Vancouver, Washington, is also a potential site, as well as Evergreen High School, also in Vancouver.
Fox News also reports that “Portland Trail Blazers fans might have been exposed to measles during a game against the Charlotte Hornets earlier this month” thanks to traveling through Portland International Airport.
As the number of those infected with the measles virus climbs, Clark County Public Health aims to contact all who may have been infected in an effort to help contain the outbreak.
Starting on Tuesday, those who are suspected of being in identified sites will receive an automated call from Clark County Clark County call center at 360-397-8021. This call is expected to be generated at 10:30 a.m. If the respondent does not reply, a follow-up call will be made around 1 p.m.
“Measles can be so contagious that you can be in a room, and if you’re susceptible, two hours after someone with measles left, and still get the disease,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, the director of public health for Clark County.
However, if you suspect you have come into contact with the measles virus within the last 72 hours, the vaccine is still considered effective and a precautionary shot can be obtained from your health professional.
If you believe you have contracted measles, it is advised that you call your local care provider prior to visiting so that they can set up effective measures to limit potential exposure to others.