Local health officials have learned of a case of measles in a Washington County individual who received medical care at the Kaiser Beaverton Medical Office and OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Measles is a highly contagious and potentially serious illness caused by a virus. It is spread through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes.
Because most people in our area have been vaccinated against measles, the risk to the general public is low. However, people who were in the same locations as the contagious child should be aware of their measles vaccination history. Anyone who is not immune to measles and was in any of the locations below should contact their health care provider for advice and be on the lookout for symptoms until November 26. If symptoms appear – such as an unexplained rash, fever and cough – they should call their health care provider or urgent care facility before going there to avoid exposing other people.
Measles poses the highest risk to people who have not been vaccinated, pregnant women, infants under 12 months, and people with weakened immune systems.
You are considered immune to measles if ANY of the following apply:
• You were born before 1957 or;
• You are certain you have had the measles or;
• You have been fully vaccinated for measles (two doses).
People who were at any of the following locations at these dates and times may have been exposed:
Thursday, October 31
OHSU Emergency Department, Noon–9:40 p.m.
OHSU Doernbecher 9N, 7:35 p.m. - midnight
Friday, November 1
OHSU Doernbecher 9N, all day
Saturday, November 2
OHSU Doernbecher 9N, all day until 9:10pm
Monday, November 4
The UPS Store, 16055 SW Walker Road, Beaverton, 3:30 –6:00 p.m.
Kaiser Beaverton Medical Office, 4:20-6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, November 5
Kaiser Beaverton Medical Office, 11:50 a.m. – 3:20 p.m.
“Measles is a serious disease that was eliminated from circulation in the United States thanks to routine childhood vaccination,’’ said Dr. Paul Lewis, Deputy Health Officer for Washington County. “Because measles is so contagious, high levels of immunity in the community are needed to prevent its spread.”
• The symptoms of measles start with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes followed by a red rash that begins at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.
• People are contagious with measles for four days before the rash appears and up to four days after the rash appears.
• After someone is exposed, illness usually develops in seven to 14 days. In rare cases, it can take up to up to 21 days for symptoms to occur. For this particular exposure, public health officials expect the onset of symptoms in newly infected people by November 26, 2013, at the latest.
• Anyone who has been exposed and believes they have symptoms of measles should first contact their health care provider or urgent care by telephone to avoid exposing others.
“Immunization is the best protection against measles” says Dr. Lewis. “Now is a very good time to make sure you and your children have been vaccinated against measles.”