Washington Governor Jay Inslee has declared an emergency as measles spreads to Seattle's King County.
As of Monday, there are 36 confirmed cases of measles in the state of Washington — an outbreak that has already prompted Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency.
"Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children," Inslee said in his proclamation on Friday, adding that these cases create "an extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties."
There were 35 cases of the measles in Clark County, which sits on the state's southern border, just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. Officials said 31 of the cases involved people who have not had a measles immunization; the other four are not verified. Of the 35 cases, 25 are children between age 1 and 10. There are also 11 suspected cases in Clark County.
There is also one case in King County, which includes Seattle. While the King County website says the patient, a man in his 50s, is a "suspected case," the governor said in a news release it is a confirmed case of measles.
In a health alert from King County, it was said the man had recently traveled to Clark County.
Inslee's proclamation allows agencies and departments to use state resources and "do everything reasonably possible to assist affected areas." Meanwhile, the state legislature has introduced a bill that would ban personal exemptions for the measles vaccine. The proposed legislation was sent to the House Health Care & Wellness Committee.
A news release on the governor's website says the Washington State Department of Health, or DOH, has implemented an infectious disease incident management structure so it can manage the public health aspects of the outbreak through investigations and lab testing.
The Washington Military Department, the release says, is organizing resources to assist the DOH and local officials in easing the effects on people, property and infrastructure.
Last week, a person infected with measles attended a Portland Trail Blazers home game in Oregon amid the outbreak. Contagious people also went to Portland International Airport, as well as to hospitals, schools, stores, churches and restaurants across Washington's Clark County and the two-state region, county officials said.
It has almost gotten to the point where I do not feel a need to point out that anti-vaxxers are dangerous morons.