Tags: Health Topics | washington state | measles | vaccinations

Washington State Has Spent More Than $1M on Measles Outbreak

dr. gary goldbaum, of the washington state medical association speaking
Dr. Gary Goldbaum, of the Washington State Medical Association speaking about his brother. Officials are now considering two measures in response to the measles outbreak in the area.  (Rachel La Corte/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 21 February 2019 03:11 PM

The outbreak of measles in Washington state has cost more than $1 million, The Seattle Times is reporting.

There have been at least 64 confirmed cases of measles in the state, the newspaper said. About $614,000 has been spent by the state Department of Health, on staff and supplies, along with $115,000 in non-budgeted expenditures. Dr. Scott Lindquist, state epidemiologist, said the total will go “well over a million dollars.”

And Clark County, which has recorded 44 of the confirmed cases, already has spent another $500,000 responding to the outbreak.

“This is taxpayer money for something that could have been completely, utterly preventable in the first place,” he said.

About 166 state Department of Health staff members have been assigned to the outbreak. And Lindquist said some are epidemiologists, who are normally focused on hepatitis and day-today food borne illness outbreaks.

“It’s going to slow down everything else,” Lindquist said, noting that usual work is picked up by the remaining staff or is put aside. “The current public health infrastructure is really threatened by events like this.

Scott Gottlieb, Food and Drug Administration commissioner, has warned that the federal government night have to get involved if state don’t require more school children to get vaccinated, CNN reported.

Almost all states permit kids to go to school if their parents opt out of vaccines, the news network said. It also noted the exemptions are popular in Washington state, where a measles outbreak started last month.

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The outbreak of measles in Washington state has cost more than $1 million, The Seattle Times is reporting.
washington state, measles, vaccinations
Thursday, 21 February 2019 03:11 PM
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