Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

HSE warns of measles outbreak in Donegal

HSE warns of measles outbreak in Donegal

- One case of measles has been confirmed in Bell County.

That doesn't mean the child was "patient zero" of the outbreak, Armstrong noted, because it doesn't meant they started the outbreak, just that they were the first confirmed case by Public Health. On January 18, the county declared a public health emergency due to the outbreak. Health officials have long anxious about the potential for an outbreak in the region. Overall, the county's population is below the 92-percent to 94-percent range some experts consider necessary to curb the spread of disease.

Clark County Public Health Department Public Information Officer Marissa Armstrong said that the first case in the Clark County outbreak was a child who had traveled to Clark County from outside the country - information that was announced in the initial outbreak news release January 4. People who have never received a measles vaccine are susceptible to the disease, which can be deadly.

Three Multnomah County youths have measles, bringing Oregon's total of measles cases to four. Statewide vaccine figures also reflect a boost. Health officials say the shots are safe and effective, providing about 93 percent protection with one dose and 97 percent with two doses.

Health clinics are scrambling to keep up with sudden demand, mostly among parents of children in Southwest Washington who had not been inoculated.

"During an outbreak is when you see an influx of patients who would otherwise be vaccine-hesitant", said Virginia Ramos, infection-control nurse with Sea Mar Community Health Center, which runs six sites that offer vaccines in Clark County. It's so contagious that it can live in an air space for two hours. If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch a contaminated surface, then touch their eyes, noses or mouths, they can become infected. 1-2 people out of every 1,000 who become infected with measles will die.

However, measles is highly contagious.

Separately, five additional cases were confirmed in the Houston metro area Monday, including two boys younger than 2 in Harris County, prompting health officials to urge residents to "protect their children and themselves from this disease by getting vaccinated". Common complications include diarrhea and ear infections that can cause permanent hearing loss in children.

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