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Washington State is under a measles state of emergency as measles cases grow and hot spots are flaring up across the country.

Clark County Public Health is urging anyone who has been exposed at an identified location and believes they have symptoms of measles to call their health care provider prior to visiting the medical office to make a plan that avoids exposing others in the waiting room.

All three cases are children who were not vaccinated or did not complete their vaccine series.

Armstrong said the lapse in additional cases helps Clark County Public Health feel like the preventative work the agency does is helping. Dahl's eldest daughter, Olivia, had died from measles 24 years earlier, when there was no vaccine.

This year, Washington state is averaging more than one new measles case a day as officials try to stop the disease's spread. Symptoms include a high fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes followed by a rash that typically spreads from the head to the rest of the body. By definition, a "Fully Immunized Child" (FIC) is an infant who has "received one dose of BCG, three doses each of OPV, DPT, and Hepatitis B vaccines, and one dose of measles vaccine before reaching one year of age". The State Department of Health is providing support for impacted communities and health departments.

Geoff Pursinger, editor of our sister publication, the Hillsboro Tribune, recently tweeted a photo of his weeks-old daughter with the caption, "As an incentive to vaccinate, here's a picture of the cute baby you'd be giving measles to".

In the same report, the top five reasons for non-vaccination were 1) mother was busy, 2) not eligible for vaccination, 3) child was sick, 4) fear of side effects and 5) forgot the schedule. According to the Centers for Disease Control, before the vaccine was licensed in the early 1960s, the US would see an average around 500,000 cases of measles every year.

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"We expect to see more and more cases", she said.

Doctors play a central role in educating parents and/or caregivers on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines which are recommended by regulatory authorities. The danger is such that the World Health Organization felt it necessary to rank vaccine hesitancy - a reluctance or outright refusal to be vaccinated - as one of the 10 biggest threats to global health in 2019.

Despite the high number of patients, De Guzman clarified that the hospital is still taking in more patients with measles.

Most of the time, as with other childhood viruses, people weather it fine, but there can be complications.

Known as the MMR or measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, the vaccine is very effective, the CDC says.

It's time for the majority of parents to trust the OR, national and worldwide scientific communities and get their kids immunized.

Dr. Shamard Charles is a physician-journalist for NBC News and Today, reporting on health policy, public health initiatives, diversity in medicine, and new developments in health care research and medical treatments. "It is very clear that there is no connection between vaccination and autism", Richards said.