Healthy Living

Measles Outbreak: Clark County Cases Hit 61, Russian Trolls Linked To Disease Spread

As numbers of anti-vaxxers continue to rise, measles cases soar as well. Just recently, Clark County Public Health confirmed two new measles cases, thus bringing 61 confirmed measles reports in the outbreak since the beginning of the year.

Health officials revealed two new locations where the contagious patients visited. Most measles cases involved children ages 11 to 18 years, a patient between 19 to 29 and two patients ages 30 to 39.

In the recent records, 54 of the patients were unimmunized. Five of them were not verified to have had the vaccine. It also revealed two cases where patients only had the first measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) shot.

Measles symptoms include mild fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash. The public has been advised that if they see the following symptoms, they better call a health care provider before coming in to avoid exposing anyone. 

According to CDC, one dose of the MMR vaccine is 93% effective, while having two doses of the vaccine has 97% effectiveness. Usually, 15-month-old babies get the first MMR vaccine, and the second dose will be given to kids 4 to 6 years old.

KOMO News listed the Clark County local health hotlines: 

Clark County Public Health: (360) 397-8021

Clackamas County Public Health: (503) 655-8411

Multnomah County Public Health: (503) 988-3406

Washington County Public Health: (503) 846-3594 

Meanwhile, Russian trolls may have been one of the reasons why measles outbreak rises, according to Radio Free Europe. The trolls have been accused of spreading fake news and raising doubts about vaccinations, which led to the 2018 measles outbreak.

Facebook is also one of the platforms that said to be responsible for spreading misinformation about the vaccine and the measles. In a previous report of Washington Post, anti-vaxxers used Facebook ads to spread conspiracy theories. The social media network announced that it will fight misinformation, and it is one of its top priorities. Unfortunately, when it comes to policing misleading content about vaccinations, the site faces a backlash. A spokesman said that the anti-vaccination content does not violate Facebook’s community guidelines for inciting “real-world harm,” and the site’s algorithms usually promote unscientific pages or posts about the issue. With that is the sudden rise of fake news.