LOS ANGELES – A state of emergency has been declared in Washington on Friday, following an outbreak of measles epidemic, involving more than two dozen people, most of whom are children.
The disease was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, but has since been re-emerging from imported cases and increasing anti-vaccine movement.
"Smallpox is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in young children," said the statement of the Governor of Washington, Jay Insley. "The existence of more than 26 confirmed cases in the state of Washington creates an extreme risk to public health, which can quickly spread to other countries."
The epidemic began near Portland, Oregon, at the beginning of the year and quickly expanded to the surrounding districts of Clark and King County, and in Washington.
Health officials warned that people affected by the disease visited schools, churches, a dental office, a Costco shop, Ikea and the Portland airport.
The majority of the infected are children, many of whom have not been vaccinated against this disease, officials say.
They added that the onset of the disease could still be in its infancy, as the incubation period of the virus is on average 14 days. Those infected may spread measles in the other 4 days before and 4 days after the onset of a rash.
A lot of infectious disease can cause severe diarrhea, pneumonia and vision loss, and ultimately may be fatal.
The World Health Organization in November warned that measles cases worldwide have risen by more than 30% in 2017 compared with the previous year, partly because the children were not vaccinated.