Woman who lost her brother to measles troubled by people who opt out of vaccine

Woman who lost her brother to measles troubled by people who opt out of vaccine

As the Western Washington measles outbreak grows to 60 cases, the Department of Health reports that most of those are in young unvaccinated children.

Two people who got the virus had received the MMR vaccine.

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As this outbreak grows, a Spokane woman says its troubling her that people are opting out of the vaccine.

Her family was hit hard by measles. Her brother died from encephalitis or swelling of the brain and her mother losing sight in one eye, both complications of the virus. This happened when they couldn’t chose whether or not to get the vaccine, it simply didn’t exist.

“We’ve gotten away from people myself, who went through the measles and know the seriousness of it,” said Michele. “I’m not trying to say everyone needs to do this, but take a good hard look. Its a serious disease, and its not just a bad rash.”

She said she vaccinated her children as soon as she could, and was glad to know they were able to be protected.

“Its one of the most infectious diseases that we know of and one of the most serious,” said Mark Springer, an epidemiologist at the Spokane Regional Health District.

Measles can linger in an area, for upwards of two hours after an infected person leaves.

He says that they are monitoring the situation on the other side of the state, and are cautiously optimistic about a lessened threat of a larger outbreak.

“It seems like things are getting under control with the measures they have put in place,” he said. “There’s only a handful of exposure sites left and what they have been able to do, most of the new cases of measles have primarily been in isolation since their initial exposure.”

He cautions though that with outbreaks in other states, that a single plane ride or car ride to Eastern Washington can spark another outbreak if people are unvaccinated.

He encourages everyone to get the shots for measles if they haven’t been already noting that medical evidence shows they are safe and highly effective.

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