Officials: 35 measles cases in Washington outbreak

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) -- Health officials say the number of confirmed cases of measles in western Washington has grown to 35, with nine more cases suspected.

Most of the patients are in Clark County with one confirmed case in King county.

Clark County Public Health said Sunday that the majority of the cases involve children younger than 10 years old.

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency in all counties. The proclamation directs state agencies and departments to utilize state resources to assist affected areas.

Officials say 30 of the patients were not vaccinated against the highly contagious disease and in four cases it's unclear whether the person was vaccinated. One person was hospitalized.

Measles is a highly contagious viral illness spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can remain in the air for up to two hours in an isolated space.

The full vaccine is 97 percent effective and provides immunity for life.

Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, coughing, runny nose, red and watery eyes and tiredness. State health officials say after a few days, a rash begins and usually starts on the face and can spread over the entire body.

Measles usually lasts 7 to 10 days and is extremely contagious.

Health officials say if you think you or your child has the measles, do not bring them straight to the doctor's office. First, call ahead to warn doctors you think you might be infected so they can take precautions and make sure you don't accidentally spread the virus to other people.

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