Clark County, Washington health officials today declared the measles outbreak that started some four months ago over after no new cases were reported in the past six weeks.
The outbreak that began in early January when a child who traveled to Clark County from Ukraine tested positive for measles. During this period, 71 cases were confirmed with 61 being unvaccinated, 3 undervaccinated and seven cases classified as unverified.
The local outbreak predominantly affected children – 93 percent of cases were 1 to 18 years old – and people who were not immunized. One person was hospitalized.
“We’re grateful to see this outbreak come to an end without any deaths or serious complications,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director. “But as long as measles exists elsewhere in the world and people continue travel, we’re at risk of seeing another outbreak. We must improve our immunization rates to prevent future outbreaks and keep our children and other vulnerable people safe.”
The outbreak also had a toll on resources:
Public Health activated its incident management teams to respond to the measles outbreak on Jan. 15 and spent 63 days in incident response. More than 230 people worked on the incident, including 89 Public Health staff, 57 Washington Department of Health staff, 50 Medical Reserve Corps volunteers and three Centers for Disease Control and Prevention staff, as well as partners from other health departments and local volunteers.
Responders worked more than 19,000 hours on the measles outbreak, with Public Health staff clocking 12,684 hours on the outbreak. Public Health’s total cost for the outbreak is $864,679, with staffing costs accounting for the largest share ($616,265 for Public Health staff).
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