A measles outbreak near Portland has sickened 35 people in Oregon and Washington, with 11 more cases suspected.

Thirty-one patients had not been vaccinated against measles, and the status of four others who were infected is not known. One child has been hospitalized.

Public health officials struggling to contain the highly contagious virus say the outbreak is a textbook example of why it’s critical to vaccinate against childhood diseases.

Measles was eradicated in the U.S. after a safe and cheap vaccine was developed in 1963, but in recent years, outbreaks from New York to California have sickened hundreds.

The vaccination rate in the area is 78 percent, lower than average, and that’s making it harder to contain the outbreak.

FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2019 file photo, a sign prohibiting all children under 12 and unvaccinated adults stands at the entrance to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, Wash. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus, File)
FILE – In this Jan. 25, 2019 file photo, a sign prohibiting all children under 12 and unvaccinated adults stands at the entrance to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, Wash. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus, File)

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