Measles outbreak grows to 42 cases in WA, Spokane Public Schools laying plans for local outbreak
The Washington State Department of Health is now reporting there are 42 confirmed cases of measles in the state. 41 of those cases are in Clark County and the other is in King County.
The majority of the patients are young, unvaccinated children.
Health experts are worried that the virus may spread into Eastern Washington and are laying plans for a possible outbreak of the very contagious sickness.
The Spokane Regional Health District is advising all those that can, to get the measles vaccine. Infants under the age of one, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems can’t get the vaccine. Additionally, people born before 1957 are considered already immune, but can get the vaccine if they want to.
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Spokane Public Schools are also preparing for the possibility of an Eastern Washington measles outbreak and are contacting all the parents of students currently without vaccinations.
“We do have a percentage of our students that are non-compliant, which means they haven’t returned vaccination paperwork to us,” said SPS spokesman Brian Coddington. “Ee are reaching out to those families to encourage them to submit their paperwork to us.”
Combined there are roughly 2550 students who are non-compliant or have approved vaccine exemptions.
He says that if an outbreak occurs in Spokane, he says that they will work with the Spokane Regional Health District to determine whether they need to send unvaccinated students need to be sent home.
If it reaches that point the district will work with students on an individual basis to find ways to continue their education.
“If families have any questions our school nurses are in the buildings, they are working with staff, they are also available to families as well,” Coddington said. “The more information families have the better off they are.”
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