Measles Outbreak in Washington Causes State of Emergency

Hand holding needle.

Hand holding needle.

There are currently 35 confirmed cases of measles in Washington state. The governor, Jay Inslee, has declared a state of emergency after finding out about the outbreak. [2] This could be from the recent anti-vaccine movement that has been sweeping the country.

34 Confirmed Cases

As of Sunday Washington had 35 cases of measles. Out of those 35, 34 were located in Clark County which is near Washington’s southern border, next to Oregon. There are another 9 cases in Clark County that have not yet been confirmed to being the measles. Of the 34 cases, 24 were children between ages 1 and 10. Of the 34 cases, officials say that 30 had not had a measles immunization. [3]

The Washington Governor, Jay Inslee, declared a state of emergency in Washington after hearing about the disease. “Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children,” Governor Jay Inslee said over the weekend, and can cause “an extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties.” [4]

Public Health has also identified several locations where people might have been exposed to the measles. County officials said that last week, a person with measles attended a Portland Trail Blazers home game in Oregon. People carrying the disease also went to Portland International Airport, as well as to hospitals, schools, stores, churches, and restaurants across Washington’s Clark County and the two-state region.

Elimination is Futile?

In 1978, the CDC set a goal to get rid of measles forever in the United States by 1982. Measles was declared eliminated- defined by an absence of continuous disease transmission for greater than 12 months- from the United States in 2000.

Now they seem to be making a comeback. Officials believe this is from the anti-vaccine movement that has increased in recent years.



  1. ^Jay Inslee State of emergency. (go back  ↩)
  2. ^Amir Vera, Cnn. “Washington is under a state of emergency as measles cases rise.” CNN, 28 Jan. 2019, (go back  ↩)
  3. ^Washington Is In A State Of Emergency Over Measles Outbreak.” Scary Mommy, 28 Jan. 2019, (go back  ↩)

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