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Local health officials worry low vaccination rate may lead to measles

April 18th, 2014 - 5:29am

(Port Angeles)-- Health officials say Washington State has one of the worst vaccination rates for measles, and this could one of the reasons for a recent outbreak of the virus throughout San Juan, Whatcom and Kitsap counties.

Clallam and Jefferson county health officer Dr. Tom Locke says that many parents opt to not have their children vaccinated and that concerns him of potential measles breaking out locally.

Locke says people who have contracted the measles virus may not show any signs of the disease for up to seven days. After that, you are considered contagious. For the first four to five days, indications of measles include cold symptoms along with a sore throat, conjunctivitis - sometimes called pink-eye. After that, a red dotted type rash develops, and it's at this point people usually realize they have contracted measles.

Locke said that so far, no cases of measles have been reported in Clallam County. More information on measles is available on the State Department of Health web site.

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