Washington State Governor declared on Friday a state of emergency for an outbreak of measleswhich has left dozens of people sick in one district with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the state.
Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement that the Clark County outbreak "poses an extreme public health risk" that could spread throughout the state. According to the Inslees Declaration, government agencies can use all available resources to support affected areas, and additional medical resources can be obtained from other states.
Clark County Public Health has confirmed 30 cases of measles since Jan. 1
The district published a list of public places where infected children attended, including several schools and churches, the airport Portland, Oregon and a Costco.
A case has been confirmed in King County, where Seattle is located. It was about a man in his fifties who was hospitalized.
Clark County, located in southwest Washington and near Portland, has a lower vaccination coverage than in almost every other county in the state. Only 77.4 percent of all public students there have completed their vaccinations, according to the state of Oregon.
Measles is a highly contagious and potentially fatal infection that is most prevalent in infants, although it is easily prevented by vaccination. Symptoms include cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever and patchy rashes. The disease is so contagious that 90 percent of people who are in the vicinity of someone who is not immune, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are infected.
The cause of the outbreak in Washington has not been determined.