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There's another measles outbreak in the US, this time in Washington state. This is a beatable disease. We’d come so close to eradicating it. Please, vaccinate your children.


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Measles. Again. This is Healthcare Triage News.


There's an outbreak in Washington state right now. How? We don't know who patient zero is just yet, but it's usually someone who visited a country where measles is more common then they start to spread it here.

What we do know is that someone who was infected went to lots of public places, including schools, churches, an Ikea, a Dollar Tree, and a healthcare facility, and they spread it. How? In Clark County, about 8% of kids have exemptions for school for the vaccines. That's way higher than the national average of 2%.

Measles is deadly. One out of every 20 children who has measles get pneumonia; one in 1,000 gets encephalitis, and 1 to 2 in 1,000 dies.

It is so, so, so easy to get measles. We've discussed r-nought before. It's a term that describes the average number of people who are made sick by another person in an outbreak. A higher r-nought means the disease is more infectious. Measles has an r-nought of 18. That means, without vaccination, one person with measles will likely give it to 18 other people.

Someone with measles can enter a room, cough and then leave, and then, hours later, someone entering the room could still catch measles from breathing the air.

In 1963, there were more than 4 million cases of measles, 48,000 hospitalizations, and 500 deaths in the United States alone. That's why we have a vaccine. A lot of areas in the country have vaccine rates high enough to get herd immunity, but not all. And those areas, looking at you Clark County, are at higher risk.

When we taped this, there were 38 confirmed cases. 34 of those were not immunized. The other four, we're not sure. Two of them made trips to Hawaii, freaking out everyone on those planes and a whole other state.

This is a beatable disease. We've come so close to eradicating it in the past. Please, vaccinate your children.


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