In a follow-up on the ongoing measles outbreak in Clark County, Washington, health officials report today that the number of confirmed cases has risen to 47 since the beginning of the year. Another seven suspect cases are still under investigation.

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Image/ National Atlas of the United States
Image/ National Atlas of the United States

Clark County Public Health reports the confirmed cases include two cases who traveled to Hawaii and another case who traveled to Bend, Ore. The confirmed cases also include two Clark County residents who moved to Georgia. The case totals do not include confirmed cases from King County and Multnomah County, Ore.

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Concerning the vaccination status of the outbreak cases, 41 were unvaccinated, one case received only one shot of the MMR series and the remaining five were unverified.

Immunization is the best prevention for measles. “The measles vaccine isn’t perfect, but one dose is 93 percent effective at preventing illness,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director. “The recommended two doses of the measles vaccine provide even greater protection – 97 percent.”

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Clark County Public Health is urging anyone who has been exposed and believes they have symptoms of measles to call their health care provider prior to visiting the medical office to make a plan that avoids exposing others in the waiting room. People who believe they have symptoms of measles should not go directly to medical offices, urgent care centers or emergency departments (unless experiencing a medical emergency) without calling in advance.

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