N.D. health team to help fight Washington measles outbreak

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The North Dakota Department of Health Emergency Preparedness and Response section will send a five-person team to Vancouver, Washington to assist in fighting the measles outbreak in that area.

The North Dakotans will relieve existing members of the Washington state response team. Washington requested the specialized team through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), an agreement between all 50 states to provide help when needed.

Washington governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency on Jan. 25 in response to the measles outbreak. Since the start of 2019, Washington public health has confirmed 36 cases and 12 suspect cases in two counties.

Twenty-five patients are between the ages of 1 to 10 years old, and 32 of the patients were not immunized, and the immunization status of the remaining four cases is unverified.

“We are pleased to assist with this serious public health emergency, “ said Tim Wiedrich, Emergency Preparedness & Response Section Chief. “Our participation not only assists Washington but also strengthens our North Dakota response capabilities.”

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