Washington vaccination rate spikes as measles outbreak continues

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Measles vaccination rates in Washington have jumped since the onset of an outbreak, with the biggest increase in vaccination coming from the county most impacted by the virus.

Public health officials in Oregon and Washington reported a combined 56 confirmed cases of measles. A majority of those came from Clark County, home to Vancouver, where 51 cases have been confirmed since Jan. 1. Thirteen additional cases were suspected.

Measles is a highly contagious and potentially dangerous viral illness that is transmitted through coughing and sneezing. Forty-three of the patients in southwest Washington were not vaccinated against the disease and one patient had one shot of the two-shot series.