OLYMPIA, Wash – There have been more reported cases of measles in Washington state so far this year than in the past five years combined according to state health officials.
In 2014 we have already seen 27 cases of measles. That number is way up from the five cases reported last year.
This is the highest number of reported cases in any year since 1996.
Washington isn’t alone, the rest of the country is seeing a huge spike in measles cases this year with more than 2,000 documented cases.
Washington State health officials blame several factors.
“People not being vaccinated, and the fact that measles is still common in many parts of the world including parts of Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa,” said officials in a statement Thursday. “Travelers with the measles continue to bring the disease to the U.S. and it spreads when it reaches communities where groups of people aren’t vaccinated.”
Measles is highly contagious and of every 1000 people who contracts it, one is likely to get encephalitis, and one or two may die.