According to the Clark County, Washington Department of Public Health, almost every single child in the current Measles outbreak wasn’t vaccinated.
According to their website, 37 out of the 41 confirmed cases of Measles are in children who did not receive a vaccination for Measles. The vaccination status of four of the children are unknown.
In a separate news release, the department said that there are fifteen suspected cases of Measles, in addition to the 41 confirmed cases. They did not indicate if any of these suspected cases were in children who were vaccinated or not.
What’s more, the announcement included a laundry list of over 50 locations where the general public may have been exposed to Measles. These included hospitals and schools of course, but also grocery stores like Costco. churches, the airport, and even a trampoline park.
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This is consistent with a previous report that only one in four kindergartners in Clark County, Washington are fully vaccinated.
It’s also consistent with a study I previously wrote about which found that unvaccinated children are 4 times as likely to be involved in an outbreak than vaccinated children.
The bigger picture
This serves as yet another example of how vaccinating your child isn’t just about protecting your child. We have 41 confirmed cases (with another 15 likely cases), with potential exposure to the general population in very public spaces. I’ve never *not* been to Costco when it hasn’t been jam-packed, so I can only imagine how many people were potentially exposed to Measles.
While Measles is rarely fatal, it is extremely contagious and can be a very serious disease for younger children and those whose immune system is compromised.
While measles lives in the mucus in your nose and throat, it can survive for up to two hours airborne or on a surface. That means if someone has Measles and they sneeze, or they wipe their nose and touch something, anyone nearby or who touches the same object is at risk of being infected. And according to the CDC, Measles is so contagious that if 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.
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