SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state is one of a handful of places where a national measles outbreak has hit record levels this year.
Fifteen cases of the viral respiratory disease that is spread through the air have been reported in the state since January, The Seattle Times reported (http://is.gd/JXnRb6 ).
The last measles spike in Washington was in 2008, when Grant County had 19 cases.
So far this year, a Whatcom County resident attending school in British Columbia infected five friends and family members. A man from San Juan County who traveled to Southeast Asia — an area prone to measles outbreaks — infected six others. One child from Skagit County was infected after her first immunization dose. Her source of measles is unknown.
The latest case of measles was May 17 in Snohomish County, contracted by an unimmunized man who traveled to Indonesia. There were no reports of anybody catching the disease from him.
"Our experience here in Washington is consistent to what's being seen nationally," said Chas DeBolt, senior epidemiologist for vaccine-preventable diseases for the Washington State Department of Health.