Local public health officials have confirmed a measles infection in an adult international traveler who was in King County during the contagious period. Most people in our area have immunity to the measles through vaccination, but people should check the exposure locations, know their immunization status and call a health care provider promptly if they develop an illness.
Local public health officials have confirmed a measles infection in an adult international traveler who was in King County during the contagious period. The traveler, who was unimmunized, was most likely exposed in the individual's home country.
What to do if you were in a location of potential measles exposure
Most people in our area have immunity to the measles through vaccination, so the risk to the general public is low. However, all persons who were in the following locations around the same time as the individual with measles should:
- Find out if they have been vaccinated for measles or have had measles previously, and
- Call a health care provider promptly if they develop an illness with fever or illness with an unexplained rash between February 1 and February 15. To avoid possibly spreading measles to other patients, do not go to a clinic or hospital without calling first to tell them you want to be evaluated for measles.
Locations of potential exposure to measles
Before receiving the measles diagnosis, the traveler was in the following public locations. Anyone who was at the following locations during the times listed was possibly exposed to measles:
January 25, 2015
- 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Sheraton Hotel (common areas), 1400 6th Ave, Seattle
- 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. SeaTac Airport, Main Terminal and Concourse D
If you were at the following locations at the times listed above and are not immune to measles, the most likely time you would become sick is between February 1 and February 15.
Numbers and trends
This measles case is not linked to the large, ongoing national outbreak linked to an amusement park in California. Nationally, there have been over 100 cases of measles since the beginning of the year.
The statewide total to date in 2015 is three cases, including one case in King County. Since cases are recorded by residency, this new measles case is not counted toward county or state totals. There were 13 cases in King County in 2014, and four in 2013, with no cases in 2012 or 2011.
Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes. It is mainly spread through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes.
Measles symptoms begin seven to 21 days after exposure. Measles is contagious from approximately four days before the rash appears through four days after the rash appears. People can spread measles before they have the characteristic measles rash.
People at highest risk from exposure to measles include those who are unvaccinated, pregnant women, infants under six months of age and those with weakened immune systems.
For more information about measles, a fact sheet is available in multiple languages.
Measles vaccination schedule
Children should be vaccinated with two doses of the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine. The first dose should be at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at four through six years of age. Infants traveling outside the United States can be vaccinated as early as six months but must receive the full two dose series beginning at 12 months of age; more information is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
Adults should have at least one dose of measles vaccine, and two doses are recommended for international travelers, healthcare workers, and students in college, trade school, and other schools after high school.
For help finding low cost health services, call the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.
Providing effective and innovative health and disease prevention services for over 2 million residents and visitors of King County, Public Health Seattle & King County works for safer and healthier communities for everyone, every day.