The current outbreak is the third this year only in Oregon. It includes nine additional cases reported in the counties of Clackamas and Multnomah since July 2019. As health officials explain, all nine people who contracted the disease hadn’t been immunized. Eight of them were younger than 18 years of age.
Dr. Jennifer Vines, Deputy Health Officer of Multnomah County, stated that they could not determine the exact time of the outbreak. At the beginning of July, a local citizen contracted a disease similar to measles. Since then, the new cases were restricted to close contacts that were not immunized. All of them were in close proximity to public health in the period of symptom watch.
As opposed to other outbreaks, Oregon residents who came down with the illness remained at their homes when they were infectious. Therefore, they posed no threat to the community.
A Plea for Immunization
Since the new school year is approaching, healthcare officials are inviting parents to ensure that their children are completely immunized. As Dr. Vines explains, measles is a rather severe disease. People who contract it feel miserable during the first week and are extremely infectious while ill. She highlighted that the vaccine was harmless and efficient; what’s more, it protects children and keeps them healthy even at school.
According to the Oregon Health Authority, a very high number of residents contracted measles in the 1989–1991 period. Only in 1991, as many as 100 cases were reported.
How to Recognize Measles
The first symptoms of the disease are cough, a runny nose, and high temperature. Afterward, a rash appears over the entire body. One should bear in mind, however, that the disease may develop more severe complications, such as permanent loss of hearing, pneumonia, fatal brain infection, and blindness.
Dr. Vines explains that measles can be life-threatening to unimmunized pregnant women, as well as to people or children suffering from chronic diseases or disorders. She also added that unimmunized children exposed to the disease have to abstain from school for three weeks. This implies skipping lessons, sports activities, and parties. Ultimately, the disease might be quite a burden for employed parents that have to seek proper childcare.