Misinformation is circulating on social media, said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County public health director.
Thurston County readers may have heard that there has been a recent measles outbreak in Clark County, and that cases have now popped up in states as far away as Georgia.
The vaccine has been part of routine childhood shots for decades, and measles was declared eliminated in the U.S.in 2000.
"Measles is airborne and highly contagious, so if you aren't vaccinated and you're exposed to somebody who has measles, you'll most likely get them", Howell said.
"Now is a great time for all families to take action by reviewing their vaccination records and be sure that everyone is up to date and has completed the vaccination series for measles", health officials said.
Meanwhile, the ongoing measles outbreak in Washington, US, has reached the highest number of infections since 1996, according to an official. Most of the patients are children under 10, and one child has been hospitalized. Effective treatments for people with measles are largely limited to drinking lots of fluids, rest, Vitamin A and over the counter pain relievers. "We have no measles cases associated with this outbreak and we have no measles at all". Vaccinations are free for children and low cost for adults at area hospitals through a partnership with Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, as well, which partners with Mary Bridge Children's Hospital's free vaccination clinics for children.
A measure introduced by Republican Rep. Paul Harris of Vancouver, Washington - the epicenter of the current outbreak - would remove the personal exemption specifically for the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, or MMR.
Measles symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis (red watery eyes) or a runny nose.
The AP noted that Clark County, Washington, has a vaccination rate of 78 percent, which is too low to protect those with compromised immune systems, those who can not get vaccinated because of medical problems, or those who are too young. Only one case occurred in a person who was vaccinated.
People are contagious with measles for up to four days before and up to four days after the rash appears.
Jocelyn Smith is terrified her youngest son, who is 11 months, will get measles.