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Measles exposures in King County

Summary

A traveler with measles was in King County during the contagious period and potentially exposed others. Most people in our area have immunity to the measles through vaccination, but people should check the listed exposure locations, know their immunization status and call a health care provider promptly if they develop an illness.

Story

Local public health officials have confirmed a measles infection in an adult international traveler who was in King County during the time that the traveler was contagious. The traveler, whose vaccination status is unknown, was most likely exposed in central Asia, where there is a current measles outbreak.

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 June 6 and June 20. 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:

May 30, 2015

If you were at any of these locations at the times listed above and are not immune to measles, the most likely time you would become sick is between June 6 and June 20.

Numbers and trends

This new measles case was most likely acquired in central Asia, where there is currently an ongoing measles outbreak. In the United States, there have been over 170 cases of confirmed measles in 2015. Most of these cases were part of a large multi-state outbreak linked to an amusement park in California.

Among Washington state residents, there have been a total of 10 confirmed measles cases in 2015. While there have been multiple public exposures to measles in King County in 2015, there have been no confirmed cases among King County residents.

About measles

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.

More information about measles 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 given at 12–15 months of age, and the second dose at four– 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.


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