On Saturday, the Governor of Washington, Jay Inslee, declared a state of emergency as a measles outbreak has occurred in multiple counties in Washington. On Friday, Inslee stated that “Almost everyone who is not immune will get measles if they are exposed to the virus.”
The virus has started to spread throughout the Pacific Northwest, and it is expanding at an alarming rate. The Oregonian has reported that the reason for the outbreak is most likely due to the extremely low vaccination rate in the Pacific Northwest.
The vaccination rate has been lowered as many families living in the Pacific Northwest are against vaccinations. If someone chooses not to vaccinate themselves or their loved ones, it could affect herd immunity negatively. This is why the Pacific Northwest has had many outbreaks of different viruses in the past, including measles.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has also stated that measles can spread easily because the known symptoms don’t show up until around a week to two weeks after the virus is contracted. They have also stated that the only symptoms of measles before this time period are symptoms that are common among viruses, such as a runny nose, cough, fever, and watery eyes. This means that measles can be deceptive, which helps it spread quicker.