A state of emergency was declared on Friday in the western US state of Washington following a measles outbreak that has affected more than two dozen people, the majority of them children.
The disease was declared eliminated in the US in 2000 but has since made a comeback that is tied to imported cases and the rise of the anti-vaccine movement.
“Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee said in a statement. “The existence of more than 26 confirmed cases in the state of Washington creates an extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties.”
The outbreak began near Portland, Oregon, at the start of the year and quickly spread to nearby Clark County and King County, both in Washington.
Health officials have warned that people infected with the disease had visited schools, churches, a dentist’s office, a Costco store, an Ikea store and the Portland…