Measles Outbreak in the Pacific Northwest Climbs to 70 Confirmed Cases

The measles outbreak in the Pacific Northwest now has 70 confirmed cases, The Oregonian reported Saturday, with 65 of those cases coming from Clark County, Oregon, where the outbreak began on Jan. 1. Four more instances of the disease, which had been all-but eradicated in the U.S., have been reported in nearby Multnomah County, and one has been reported in Seattle, Washington. Out of Clark County’s 65 cases, The Oregonian notes, 57 of the patients had not been vaccinated against the highly contagious disease. The outbreak has become a flashpoint in the ever-growing controversy over vaccinations: despite overwhelming evidence that the MMR vaccine is safe, some parents are refusing to vaccinate their children over fears that the immunization could led to autism or diseases like encephalitis.