Clark County Public Health has confirmed 36 measles cases since January 1 in its ongoing outbreak investigation. According to NPR's Vanessa Romo and Patti Neighmond, there were 36 confirmed and 11 suspected measles cases as of Monday.
Also covered: What the county is doing to keep watch for measles, and what you should be looking for if you're the parent of a child at risk.
So why the emergency declaration?
Measles was once a deadly disease among American children until a vaccine for it became available in 1963. The virus can live for up to two hours wherever an infected person has coughed or sneezed.
In the last few days, there has been an outbreak of measles in the Washington state just across the line from Portland, Oregon.
He says some of his parents don't vaccinate for religious reasons, because they're anxious about side effects and because they're not convinced vaccinations are effective.
Most of the cases have been in kids. The vaccination status for the remaining four is, for now, unclear.
What is clear to experts is that not being vaccinated is what put those people at risk - and what allowed the measles to spread.
The CDC also noted that the virus can be prevented with the MMR vaccine.
Thirty-five of the confirmed measles patients and all of the suspected cases are located in Clark County.More news: Brothers Steph, Seth Curry in 3-point contest
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The specific source of the outbreak is not now known, but the Oregonian reported that low immunization rates in the area meant that it was only a matter of time before a preventable outbreak like this one took hold in the Pacific Northwest. By 2017-2018, only 84 percent of kindergartners had.
Earlier today, Dr. Donald Baird - a family practitioner and the current public health officer for the county of Humboldt - spoke with KHUM's Lyndsey Battle about the low rates of vaccination among certain Humboldt County communities, and why that could provide fertile ground for the virus if it arrives here.
Adults can be immunized for the measles if they did not receive the two shots needed as a child. The outbreak is being closely monitored and one person has been taken to the hospital.
"We know that 31 of the cases so far are in un-immunized people, and these are people who are in the age-range that immunization is recommended. And we have a vaccine that is known to be very safe and wildly effective".
The BCCDC advises people to make sure that their measles vaccination is up to date, especially if they're considering travelling.
You'll get the latest updates on this topic in your browser notifications. Of the 34 cases, 24 are children between age 1 and 10. Health officials expect the number of cases to continue to rise. The agency noted the outbreaks were associated with travelers who brought measles back from Israel. "It's an uphill battle for us, as public health professionals, to try to get the right information out there". "They're not going to be protected".
The counties' public health officials urge those who believe they or their child have contracted the disease to contact their medical office and plan a visit.
The good news? Most parents are onboard with vaccinating their kids..
Doctors say the full vaccine is 97 per cent effective and protects you for life.