As of Monday afternoon, February 4, Washington State had reported 50 confirmed cases of measles. One case was in King County and the other 49 were in Clark County, just north of Portland, Oregon. Kristina Adams Waldorf, M.D., is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She said the Washington outbreak is almost exclusively in young children that were not vaccinated. The outbreak is likely to grow despite health officials best efforts "because of how contagious the measles virus is." Officials say it may be weeks or months before the outbreak is contained. And, separate measles cases have been reported in 10 states so far this year. Measles is one of the most contagious illnesses and can result in severe complications in some, including blindness, deafness, brain functions and pneumonia.

Dr. Waldorf also said, "Pregnant women can become very, very ill with measles and it can result in preterm birth and complications for their child. We can't vaccinate pregnant women for measles, so we need to think about this before they become pregnant." If you don't know if you've had the MMR vaccine, check your immunization records for MMR or MMRV (includes chickenpox) or contact your health provider for immunization or blood test. More measles information can be found at a Centers for Disease Control website.

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