BEND, Ore. - (Update: Correcting visitor expectations estimate)
The solar eclipse on Aug 21 is expected to bring big, perhaps unprecedented crowds to the High Desert -- and maybe something more that you should prepare for.
“We’re going to see at least a doubling of population in the Central Oregon region during that time, and with that could potentially come different diseases that maybe we don’t see in this region,” Heather Kaisner, communicable disease supervisor for the Deschutes County health department, said Wednesday.
Health officials say the many reasons people get vaccinations when they travel to distance lands are the same reasons they should before visitors come pouring into the area.
“We’re going to have a lot of international travelers and diseases such as measles and mumps, and pertussis are still prevalent around the world,” Kaisner said.
Visitor projections continue to rise and are now around 200,000 for the region
Central Oregon’s county health departments urge you to make sure you and your family are ready.
And the sooner you do, it the better.
Officials say it could take four to six weeks to complete a vaccine series, and your body will need time to build up immunity.”
There are variety of afflictions officials are concerned about, but measles top the list.
“It’s the most contagious disease we have out there,” Kaisner said. “So you could be in a room with a case of measles, and that person leaves, and an hour later someone else comes in that room — and they could actually get measles, because it is airborne.”
Health officials said taking the right steps now will help you enjoy the big celestial show later.