SEATTLE — The Washington State Department of Health has 39 confirmed cases of measles between King County and Clark County. 34 of 36 cases were unvaccinated individuals. Vaccinations are the first line of defense for preventative care and Bartell’s is prepared to help protect the community from the outbreak. The M-M-R (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine is a 2-dose series that is 93% effective after one dose and the second dose making it approximately 97% effective at protecting against measles.
Taking the initiative to get a vaccination is the best way to help contain the outbreak in the region. According to the CDC, measles is highly contagious and 90% of those not immunized that come in close contact with an infected person will also contract measles. Measles can be contracted just by breathing the same air as an infected person or by touching a contaminated surface. Symptoms usually appear 14 days after a person is exposed and an infected person can spread measles for 4 days before their own symptoms appear. Before the introduction of measles vaccine in 1963 and widespread vaccination, major epidemics occurred approximately every 2–3 years and measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths each year.
“Measles is one of the most contagious infectious diseases. The best form of protection against measles is to get vaccinated. Even if you have been exposed, the vaccine can help lessen severity and duration of the symptoms. Prevention is the best medicine – especially for those family members or friends who cannot receive the vaccine. Talk to your healthcare provider today to find out more about getting vaccinated and how you can help to prevent spreading measles.” said Billy Chow, vice president of Pharmacy for Bartell Drugs.
“There is no specific anti-viral treatment for measles. Supportive care and symptom relief are the only avenues to assist those infected,” he added.