Another Oregon measles outbreak, according to a news release from Multnomah County, has increased the total number of cases reported this year to 23, most since 1991.
The today reported outbreak is the third in Oregon this year and affects nine cases in the counties of Clackamas and Multnomah, which have been confirmed since the beginning of July.
According to health authorities, none of the nine people suffering from measles were vaccinated. Eight of the people suffering from the disease were younger than 1
"We can not pinpoint when this outbreak started," Dr. Jennifer Vines, Deputy Health Officer of Multnomah County. "A local resident had a measles-like illness in early July. Since then, the additional cases have been limited to close contacts that have not been vaccinated. These individuals were in close contact with public health during symptom observation.
Unlike some other outbreaks, all nine people who contracted the disease stayed home while they were contagious. This poses no risk to the public.
With many students in Oregon starting the school year in the coming weeks, health officials are urging parents to ensure that their children are fully vaccinated.
"Measles are a serious disease People are miserable for a week and very contagious in case of illness," Vines said in the news release. "The vaccine is safe and effective. It keeps children healthy and at school. Fully vaccinated children also protect their siblings, friends and teachers.
Information from the Oregon Health Authority about measles in the state show that Oregon suffered from 100 measles cases from 1989 to 1991, suffering from a high number of measles for several years.
The symptoms of measles are a runny nose, cough and high fever, followed by a full body rash. The disease may also present more serious complications, including "persistent hearing loss, blindness, pneumonia and life-threatening brain infections," according to the news release from Multnomah County.
"A measles case at school can be dangerous for unvaccinated pregnant women and medically weak children and adults," Vines said, adding that students who are not vaccinated and exposed to measles do not have to go to school for 21 days.
"That means there's no sport, parties or lesson time," she said, "and that can be a burden on working parents who need childcare."