Measles outbreak likely originated in Bible study class, church says

Gracepoint Christian Church in Vancouver. (KATU Photo)

VANCOUVER, Wash. - The measles outbreak likely can be traced to a Bible study class at Gracepoint Christian Church for the Slavic Christian Academy, the church said Monday.

A third-grader who was part of the class came down with the disease over Christmas break, said the school’s principal, Andre Dolbinin.

Clark County health officials haven’t confirmed the link.

Dolbinin said the student – the first Clark County measles case to surface in December – still hasn’t returned to classes.

He said the boy is recovering at home and that his parents have been asked to get the child’s blood tested.

“If the disease is gone, he is welcome to come back,” Dolbinin said.

He said the academy and the churches it’s associated with encourage members to get vaccinations for themselves and their children.

But some parents mistrust the vaccines. The mistrust may be a holdover from time spent living in the former Soviet Union.

Dolbinin believes a girl visiting from Florida over Christmas brought the infection to Clark County. Florida's Department of Health reported four unvaccinated measles cases in December. Clark County Public Health Department is looking at Florida or another outbreak in New York as possible outbreak sources.

But it's hard for county health officials to pin down a single source for the outbreak because it can take weeks for an infected person to start showing signs of the measles.

Health officials said Monday there are now 35 confirmed cases of measles in the Clark County outbreak.

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