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Measles case in King County resident returning from travel

Summary

Local public health officials have confirmed measles infection in a King County man returning from overseas travel who may have exposed others while contagious. Most people in our area have immunity to the measles through vaccination, but people should check the exposure locations and their immunization records and call a health care provider promptly if they develop symptoms.

Story

Local public health officials have confirmed measles infection in a King County man who had recently traveled to Asia. Before he was diagnosed, he may have exposed others to the measles at Sea-Tac Airport and the waiting room of the Emergency Department at Harborview Medical Center during specific time periods. He reportedly wore a face mask while he was ill at the locations of potential exposure which may have reduced the risk to others.

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 August 28 and September 11, 2018. 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 he was diagnosed with measles, the infected individual was in the following public locations. These times include the time period when the person was at the location and two hours after. Measles virus can remain in the air for up to two hours after the person infectious with measles leaves the area. Anyone who was at the following locations during the times listed was possibly exposed to measles:

Sea-Tac Airport, 17801 International Blvd, Seattle, WA 98158: The individual spent time at the international arrival area, customs/immigration, and the baggage claim area during this time period:

  • August 21, 2018: 12:45PM-3:50PM

Waiting room of the Emergency Department at Harborview Medical Center, 325 9th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104, during the following time:

  • August 21, 2018: 2:20PM-5:15PM
    [Note: The patient was moved to an isolation room in less than an hour after arriving.]

If you were at the locations at the times listed above and are not immune to measles, the most likely time you would become sick is between August 28 and September 11, 2018.

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.

For more information about measles and measles vaccination: kingcounty.gov/measles


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