KPVI - How could Washington's measles outbreak affect Idaho?

One of Idaho’s six border states has seen 50 cases of measles this year. Clark County, WA has seen the brunt of these cases.

We talked with an Idaho doctor, Dr. Richard Sloan, about the risk this outbreak poses to our state. Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease and can live upwards of two hours on surfaces.

Because it's so contagious, there is a risk of the disease spreading to Idaho.

Infants, adults over 20 and pregnant women are most at risk for contracting measles, which can have serious complications like high fever.

The risk to Idaho depends on whether people traveling between Idaho and Washington have been vaccinated.

"The best thing that you can do for your children now, is to get them vaccinated, because it can be 100% preventable,” says Dr. Sloan. “And then to prevent future generations of heartbreak, loss, and everything else like that is to get them vaccinated now."

Based on 2017-2018 numbers, 31 out of 44 counties in Idaho are vaccinated under 90%, the minimum for what doctors call herd immunity, which protects the community at large from contracting diseases like measles.