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New measles outbreaks in the United States

Just as a lull in the number of new measles cases in Ohio occurs, a new outbreak has been announced in Washington. Public Health—Seattle & King County announced June 26 that nine measles cases have been diagnosed in the region. Public health authorities in Kansas and Missouri have also updated the number of cases in the Kansas City area.

 A dose of measles vaccine, MMR
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The latest outbreak of measles involves eight patients in Washington's Kings County and one in Pierce County. The counties include the cities of Seattle and Tacoma. All of the illnesses are in an extended family linked to an unvaccinated child who returned from Micronesia May 26 with the measles.

All of the patients in this outbreak are reported to have never been vaccinated for measles, according to Public Health—Seattle & King County. Some were too young for the immunizations while others "simply missed their vaccinations." A list of potential exposure locations is being compiled but the agency warns that these patients were seen at a number of MultiCare healthcare facilities and a Tacoma hospital while they were contagious.

The measles outbreak in the Kansas City metro area has grown larger. Ryan Hobart, spokesman for the Missouri Health Department, stated in a June 26 e-mail that an additional six illnesses have been reported. The total number of measles cases for Missouri in 2014 is now 17. Sara Belfry, Communications Director for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, stated in an e-mail that same day that Kansas continues to have three cases of measles for the year.

The daily report from the Ohio Department of Health detailing the measles outbreak in Ohio seems to suggest a lull in new cases. The total for June 26 is 357 illnesses and that total has changed by just one case in three days. Ten patients have required hospitalization.

Abilene, TX announced on June 26 that Taylor County has recorded a case of measles in an infant. The baby was reportedly exposed to a patient with measles while in another state having an outbreak. Symptoms developed upon the patient's return to Texas.