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A measles outbreak is spreading in a Washington district known for not vaccinating its children, and health officials have declared a public health emergency.
USA TODAY

A measles outburst in Rockland County, New York, has forced officials to proclaim the sixth and largest outbreak in the United States this year, according to the CDC.

New York County has detected 155 measles cases since October, which have led health officials to ban people under the age of 18 and not to be vaccinated against measles from public places. The ban lasts 30 days or until the entire community is vaccinated.

Public places include shopping malls, restaurants, schools and places of worship. Outdoor gathering areas such as parks and public playgrounds are not included.

Other measles outbreaks – defined as three or more cases – have hit California, Illinois, Texas, Washington and New York City. Clark County, Wash., Was the second largest outbreak of the year, with 73 documented cases of measles.

The CDC confirmed 314 individual cases of measles in 15 states this year on 21 March. For 2018, there were 372 cases in total.

The following should you know about the measles and outbreak:

What are measles? What are the symptoms?

Measles are an extremely contagious disease caused by a virus that spreads in the air.

Infected individuals develop a red-colored rash that begins in the mouth and spreads throughout the body. The symptoms include fever up to 104 degrees, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes.

This file photo shows a young child with a classic measles rash after four days. (Photo: CDC handout photo)

How serious is it?

According to information in 2017 around 110,000 people died of measles, especially of children under the age of five. World Health Organization. In children and adults over the age of 20, there is an increased likelihood of measles complications, which can be fatal.

Every second out of 20 children infected with measles gets pneumonia, the leading cause of measles among young children becoming health officials. One in every 1,000 children with measles develops a swelling of the brain that can cause deafness or mental retardation. Pregnant women with measles can be born prematurely or have a low-weight child.

Is there a cure?

There is no specific treatment for measles.

How contagious is that?

Masles is so contagious that 90 percent of unvaccinated people who come in contact with an infected person get the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus can remain in the air for up to two hours after an infected person has coughing or sneezing. The virus can spread four days before and after the symptoms.

More: Son defies mother, chooses to be vaccinated at 18: "God knows how I still live"

More: NY County bans children from public places who are not vaccinated against measles

How effective is the vaccine?

The two-dose measles vaccine is 97 percent effective at CDC, according to the virus.

How many people were affected?

Public health officials in Rockland County have detected 155 confirmed cases.

Children under one year account for 15 percent of confirmed cases. Children between the ages of 1 and 3 account for 23.8 percent of the cases, children between the ages of 4 and 18 are 45.7 percent. Adults 19 years or older are 15.2 percent of the cases.

Of the 155 cases, 82.6 percent had no measles, mumps and rubella vaccines, 9.7 percent had unknown status, and about 8 percent had one or two MMR vaccines.

Where People Get Infected

The outbreak report is announced by district health authorities, who announce six new exposure locations, including shops, a supermarket, a bus loop, a local target, and others. These are the first outbreak that the authorities have warned since last year's Thanksgiving Day.

Why do not people vaccinate?

People who fail to vaccinate have become a global health threat in 2019, the World Health Organization reports. The CDC recognized that the number of children who were not vaccinated at the age of 24 months gradually increased.

Some parents do not opt ​​for vaccination because they reject discriminatory beliefs that vaccines are linked to autism. The CDC has said that there is no connection and that there are no components in vaccines that could cause autism.

Follow Marina Pitofsky and Ashley May on Twitter: @marina_pitofsky and @AshleyMayTweets

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