Washington health officials have warned citizens to take extra precautions against a new measles outbreak which is endangering countless individuals and children in Washington state. So far, there have been 37 confirmed cases and an estimated 13 suspected cases as of January 31.
Among the infected individuals, it's reported that 32 of the patients had not received a measles vaccination. Experts claim that these measles outbreaks could have been prevented or controlled if more children had been vaccinated. Amidst those sick with the illness, 35 out of the 37 are under the age of 18 years old.
Measles: What is it?
Measles is a highly contagious disease that can spread to others whether physical contact is made or not. Measles spreads through bodily fluids, like coughing and sneezing, but it can live on surfaces, potentially spreading to anyone who comes into contact with it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even entering a room two hours following the presence of an infected individual could leave you vulnerable to the infection.
Here are some of the most common symptoms associated with the disease:
- Runny nose
- Cough and sore throat
- Koplik spots in the mouth
- High fever
- Red or watery eyes
- Rash present on the entire body (typically occurs three to five days following initial symptoms)
Unfortunately, these symptoms often appear within seven to 14 days following the initial infection. This means that what seems like a mild cold could quickly become more severe.
Who is at risk?
As the outbreak spreads throughout the United States, more and more people are being put at risk for contracting measles. This is especially worrisome among children and the elderly who don't have the immune system to support such an attack.
If you suspect your child is showing symptoms of measles infection, call a medical clinic promptly. Your local urgent care will advise you on how they can help your child get the proper medical attention. Luckily, it's estimated that there are more than 20,000 doctors who practice urgent care medicine in the United States alone.
For more information on urgent care clinics and the threat of measles, rely on Immediate Clinic today.