Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency over 31 cases of measles in the state on Friday.
The statement allows the state to request medical resources from other states and instructs the authorities to do everything possible to help workers who help treat people with measles and try to stop the spread of the highly contagious disease.
"Measles are a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in young children," said Inslee. "The existence of 26 confirmed cases in Washington State represents an extreme public health risk that can quickly spread to other counties."
Clark County announced Friday that there are 30 confirmed measles cases in the Vancouver region. One person in King County was also diagnosed.
Measles outbreak in the Vancouver region up to 30 people
There are nine more suspected cases in Clark County. Most infected people are children under 1
The emergency declaration shows the severity of an unusually large outbreak. There has not been a major outbreak in Washington lately, and public health officials expect the number of people affected to increase in the coming months.
Measles are highly contagious and can remain in the air after an infected person has left the area for up to two hours. The State Emergency Declaration states that anyone who has not been vaccinated and comes into contact with an infected person is likely to get the disease.
Washington and Oregon do not have enough people to receive vaccines to achieve what scientists call "herd immunity."
Measles vaccine is 97 percent effective, and the Washington Department of Health is trying to make it easier for people to who can not afford to provide for little to no cost.
Vancouver eruption of measles: where you may have been exposed
– Molly Harbarger
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