New case of measles in King County – Public Health Insider

Public Health – Seattle and King County are investigating a confirmed case of measles in an adult female resident of King County. The person was at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Providence Swedish First Hill while infected. Anyone who was in these places within the time period when this person passed through may have been exposed to measles. The person was not vaccinated, and the infection likely occurred outside the United States.

“Measles is highly contagious and if you don’t have immunity, you can get it just by being in a room where a person with measles has been,” Dr. Eric Chow, Chief of Communicable Diseases for Public Health – Seattle & King County said. “Fortunately, the measles vaccine is very effective. Two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine provides about 97% protection against becoming infected with measles, and this protection lasts a lifetime.

place of potential risk to the public

The infected person was in the following public places before being diagnosed with measles. These times include the period she was at the location and the two hours afterwards. The measles virus can remain in the air for up to two hours after a person infected with measles has left the area. Anyone who was in the following places during the times listed could have been exposed to measles:

date time Location
1/18/23 12:26 pm – 3:00 pm Baggage Claim (Carousel 04) at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, South Satellite (Gate B6)
1/20/23 2:00 pm – 4:55 pm Providence Swedish First Hill, Emergency Department 700 Minor Ave Seattle WA 98122

What to do if you are in an area with a possible measles risk

Most people in our region have immunity to measles through vaccination, so the risk to the general public is low. However, anyone who was in places of possible exposure to measles around the time listed:

  • Find out if you have been vaccinated against measles or have had measles in the past. Make sure you are up to date with the recommended number of measles (MMR) vaccinations.
  • If you develop an illness with a fever or with an unexplained rash, call a healthcare provider right away. To avoid potentially spreading measles to others, don’t go to a clinic or hospital without calling first to tell them you want to be evaluated for measles.

You can get a vaccination or medicine after exposure in some cases to prevent the disease – check with your healthcare provider. This is especially important for people at high risk for complications of measles.

If you were in the places listed above at the time and are not immune to measles, you were most likely to get sick between 1/25/2023 – 2/10/2023.

about measles

Measles is a highly contagious and potentially serious illness that causes fever, rash, cough and red, watery eyes. It mainly spreads through the air after a person suffering from measles coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms of measles begin seven to 21 days after exposure. Measles is contagious from about four days before the rash appears to four days after the rash appears. People can spread measles before the measles rash occurs.

Measles can cause ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, and rarely encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

Complications from measles can occur even in healthy people, but those at highest risk include: infants and children under age 5, adults over age 20, people who are pregnant, and those with weakened immune systems from medications or underlying disease. People with

If you are in one of these high-risk groups and were exposed to measles in one of these places, be sure to contact your health care provider to discuss the need for treatment to prevent measles infection.

Measles is preventable with the safe and highly effective measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), two doses of the MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles, and this protection is long-lasting.

For more information about measles and measles vaccination, including where to get the measles vaccine, visit: www.kingcounty.gov/measles

Originally posted on January 21, 2023.

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