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County nears end of measles outbreak

first_imgThe county is nearing the end of its measles outbreak after the first case was announced Jan. 4 by Clark County Public Health.At the Clark County Board of Health meeting Wednesday, Public Health Director Dr. Alan Melnick said if the county can make it through Sunday without any new confirmed measles cases, his office will officially declare the outbreak over Monday morning.The end date was decided upon by Public Health, the Washington Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Melnick explained at the meeting.Melnick said the state and CDC were fine with the end date being today. However, Melnick said he wanted to count 42 days — or two incubation periods — from four days after rash onset, or the last day the last confirmed case was contagious, which was March 17. The CDC and state suggested counting from the first day of rash onset, before agreeing with Melnick’s proposal.“We, Clark County Public Health, want to be a little more conservative. … I’d rather be a little bit later than a little bit sooner on this,” Melnick said at the meeting.Clark County’s outbreak has tallied 73 confirmed cases, and cost the state more than $1 million to fight. Melnick said it has cost the county more than $800,000, and Public Health employees had to shift duties during its peak to assist in outbreak response. That meant county nurses, food inspectors, septic workers and other employees put their regular duties on the back burner.last_img read more