Measles Outbreak 2019


Eric Risberg/AP

Measles Vaccine

Natali Barias, Reporter

An outbreak of the age-old disease, Measles, has wreaked havoc all across the Pacific Northwest, hundreds of people are now rushing to get vaccinated.

The Measles is a viral infection of the respiratory system. It often presents itself as a cold later causing fever, fatigue, and skin rash. In severe cases, however, can cause brain damage, deafness, and in extreme cases, death.

An outbreak infecting 53 people in Clark County, Washington prompted Governor Jay Inslee, to declare a state of emergency. There have been at least 79 cases in the U.S alone. There have been over 55 reported cases in Washington this year. According to the Washington Health Department, 530 people were immunized last January. Following the outbreak, the number has spiked this year, with over 3,000 vaccinations so far.

Many believe that this outbreak was caused by people choosing not to vaccinate their children. Receiving the Measles vaccination is not mandatory in Washington, causing people to simply choose not to get it. Shawn Brannan, the administrator of Sea Mar Community Health Center in Vancouver, stated that he believes that people aren’t getting vaccinated because of their misconceptions about the effects of the vaccine. Brannan blamed the internet commenting that, “It’s the Google monster,” that scares people into not receiving the vaccine.

Although there are many people rushing to receive the vaccines, there are also many who oppose them. Over 700 anti-vaccine activists in Olympia, Washington rallied outside of a public hearing, to discuss a bill that would make it more difficult for people to chose not to receive the vaccine.