The measles crisis now affects King County in Seattle / Boing Boing


Washington Governor Jay Inslee has declared an emergency when measles spreads to King County in Seattle.


As of Monday, there were 36 confirmed cases of measles in Washington state – an outbreak that has prompted Governor Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency.

"Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in young children," Inslee said in his proclamation on Friday, adding that such cases create "an extreme public health risk that can spread rapidly to other countries."

There have been 35 cases of measles in Clark County, which lies on the southern border of the state, across the Columbia River, from Portland, Oregon. Authorities said 31 of the cases involved people who did not have measles immunization; the other four are not verified. Of the 35 cases, 25 are children between 1 and 10 years of age. There are also 11 suspected cases in Clark County.
There is also a case in King County which includes Seattle. While the King County website says the patient, a 50-year-old man, is a "suspect case," the governor said in a press release that it is a confirmed case of measles.

In a health alert from King County, it was said that the man had recently traveled to Clark County.
Inslee's statement allows agencies and departments to use state resources and "do everything reasonably possible to help the affected areas."

Meanwhile, the state legislature has introduced a bill that would ban personal exemptions for the measles vaccine. The proposed legislation was sent to the Home Health and Welfare Committee.

A press release on the governor's website says the Washington State Department of Health, or DOH, has implemented an infectious disease incident management framework to manage the public health aspects of the outbreak through investigations and laboratory testing.

The Washington Military Department, according to the statement, is organizing resources to help DOH and local authorities alleviate the effects on people, property and infrastructure.

Last week, a measles-infected person attended a home game at Portland Trail Blazers in Oregon amid the outbreak. Contagious people also went to Portland International Airport as well as to hospitals, schools, shops, churches and restaurants throughout Clark County in Washington and the two-state region, county officials said.

I have almost reached the point where I do not need to point out that anti-vaxxers are dangerous idiots.

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Jason Weisberger

Jason Weisberger is the editor of Boing Boing. Nemo is Jason's Great Pyrenees. You can find Jason on twitter at @jlw



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