The revelation that the ongoing measles outbreak is bound to a foreign individual does not come as a surprise to those who have studied the disease.
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Washington State Epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist said it -called & patient 39 & # 39; In the ongoing outbreak was someone who visited the United States from abroad, according to ABC News Radio affiliate KOMO Radio.
"There was a large group of children who were exposed to a visitor from outside the country who developed measles and so what happened quickly, all the children who were unimmunized actually went to public places like Ikea and Costco and Portland Trailblazers games and they then spread it to everyone in the population who became unimmunized, "Lindquist said in the KOMO Radio interview.
Few additional details have been released about that individual, including his or her age or which country the person had left before arriving in Washington. Lindquist said health officials "have a good sense of who was the first case."
A spokesman for the Washington State Department of Health confirmed to ABC News that the burden in Washington's outbreak matches the burden involved in an ongoing outbreak in Eastern Europe.
"This is consistent with tests from the first known case (a child) from this outbreak "in Washington said the spokesman in an email to ABC News. "Virus import is the common way it occurs in the US. We have had a very successful vaccination to rid the US of the virus, but in some areas of the world there are still frequent outbreaks due to low vaccination coverage."
This spreads the disease as the person came in contact with others who have not been vaccinated for measles.
Most of the time we have no native transition of measles [in the U.S.] We are doing right now, but when this outbreak is taken care of, we have no more measles in the United States
Daniel Salmon, director of the Department of Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins University, told ABC News that involving a foreign individual or an American who recently traveled to a foreign country is typically how measles outbreaks start in the US
"Most of the time we didn't have native migration of measles" in the US, salmon said. "We are doing right now, but when this outbreak is taken care of, we have no more measles in the US"
"Unfortunately, there are many parts of the world that have lots of measles," said salmon.