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Gov. Inslee declares public health emergency over measles outbreak

Currently 26 confirmed cases in WA state

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington state governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency on Friday following more than two-dozen confirmed cases of measles in the state.

Measles can be spread when a infected individual breathes, sneezes or coughs on another person. The virus can be spread before an individual knows they are sick, and Inslee's office says unvaccinated people can spread it without knowing.

His declaration will direct state agencies to use state resources to assist affected areas.

“Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children,” Inslee said in the statement. “The existence of 26 confirmed cases in the state of Washington creates an extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties.”

State agencies like DOH have mobilized efforts to investigate public health aspects of the outbreak, lab testing and other efforts to protect communities in Washington.

You can see the case count for the outbreak by visiting the DOH's website here. There are currently 25 cases in Clark County and one case in King County.

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is warning residents of signs and symptoms of the virus. Symptoms can include:

  • fever
  • diarrhea
  • coughing
  • runny nose
  • red and watery eyes
  • tiredness  

A rash also begins to form after a few days, which generally starts on the face and spreads over the body. Symptoms can last from 7 to 10 days.


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