Number of confirmed measles cases in Clark County grows to 51

(Stock Photo)

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Health officials have now confirmed 51 cases of measles as the Clark County outbreak continues to grow. They are also monitoring 13 suspected cases

Officials said they have also identified two new locations where people may have been exposed to measles. | FULL LIST OF EXPOSURE SITES

Both locations are health care facilities:

  • The Vancouver Clinic Salmon Creek, 2525 NE 139th St., Vancouver from 2:50 to 6 pm Monday, Feb. 4.
  • Sea Mar Medical Clinic East Vancouver, 19005 SE 34th St., Vancouver from 1:50 to 5:50 pm Tuesday, Feb. 5.

According to officials, 44 of the patients were not immunized, six weren’t verified to have had the vaccine, and one patient had the first dose of the vaccine.

The CDC says one dose of the MMR vaccine is 93 percent effective, while having two doses of the vaccine is 97 percent effective. Children typically receive the first MMR vaccine at one year to 15 months old, and the second dose from 4 to 6 years of age.

Clark County Public Health said most of the patients are children under 10 years old, 13 cases involve kids ages 11-18, one case is in an adult between the ages of 19 and 29, and one case is in an adult between the ages of 30 and 39.

There are currently four confirmed cases of measles in Multnomah County.

"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.

Public health officials say four of their suspected cases were unimmunized when they were exposed to measles and received the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine more than 72 hours after they were exposed.

In order to prevent illness, unimmunized people must receive one does of the MMR vaccine within 72 hours of exposure.

“About 5 percent of previously unvaccinated people will develop a rash after being immunized. When administered after 72 hours, the vaccine is less likely to prevent illness, and if the person develops a rash, there is a small chance that the rash is due to the vaccine. People who experience these mild vaccine-associated rashes cannot transmit the virus to other people,” Clark County Public Health said in a release.

So far, all the lab results from the confirmed cases have matched a wild strain of the virus that is preventable through vaccination.

Measles symptoms begin with a mild fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash.

If you or your child show signs of measles, call your health care provider before coming in so they can limit exposing anyone else in the waiting room.

Call your local health department with any other questions about measles:

  • Clark County Public Health: (360) 397-8021
  • Clackamas County Public Health: (503) 655-8411
  • Multnomah County Public Health: (503) 988-3406
  • Washington County Public Health: (503) 846-3594

This simulation shows how the MMR vaccination slows the outbreak:


While we may be seeing fewer new measles cases right now, that doesn't necessarily mean we are near the end of the outbreak:


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