"The fact that we're seeing an increase in measles is symptomatic of the fact that people aren't getting their kids vaccinated", explained Hu.
The Vancouver cases are linked to an unvaccinated child who contracted the disease during a family trip to Vietnam, and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry expects there will be more.
DOH has spent approximately $614,000 on staff and supplies as of Tuesday, in addition to about $115,000 in other non-budgeted expenditures, according to state epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist, who expects the total response to eventually cost the state "well over a million dollars".
"This is taxpayer money for something that could have been completely, utterly preventable in the first place", he said. Some are communicable disease epidemiologists, normally focusing on issues such as hepatitis and day-to-day food-borne illness outbreaks - duties that have largely been put on the back burner. A rare long-term sequelae of measles virus infection is subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), a fatal disease of the central nervous system that generally develops from 7 to 10 years after infection.
"And if they're young infants, I just tell them to be very careful", said MacDougall. Volunteers from the Medical Reserve Corps have also lent their time to the ongoing efforts.
Another complicating feature of measles is that it can be contagious for four days before the rash arises, said Tam.
"That's why we have different laws in every state: so the citizens of that state can decide how they want to run things", he added.
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Duque earlier said the outbreak in the regions may wane in April.
Of the 127 schools in the City of Vancouver, only 27 have kindergarten measles immunization rates of 90 per cent or higher.
"It's a terrible idea", said Zedler, who has fought efforts to get rid of religious and personal exemptions in his state. By comparison, Clark County, had a 6.7 percent exemption rate, according to state health-department data. The Immunization of School Pupils Act requires parents or guardians to provide proof of vaccination before their child can attend school.
A measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is seen on a countertop at a pediatrics clinic in Greenbrae, Calif. on February 6, 2015.
"It is clear that these outbreaks happen routinely now in areas where there were a lower proportion of children that have received the recommended vaccinations", he said.
"This could easily go on for another month or two", he said.