Another measles case confirmed, others possibily exposed

by: KIRO 7 STAFF Updated:

A second measles case was confirmed Wednesday in Pierce County, and Health Department officials are trying to alert people who might have been exposed.

The infected woman visited a Tacoma Albertson's grocery store and Tacoma General during the Fourth of July weekend, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department said.

The young woman, who had been in close contact with the county's first case, was in the following locations while infectious with measles:

  • July 3, Noon-2:30 p.m. Albertson's, 111 S. 38th St., Tacoma
  • July 3, 5-11:30 p.m. Tacoma General Hospital Emergency Department
  • July 4, 2 a.m.-3 p.m. Tacoma General Hospital Emergency Department

People who visited these locations during those times should contact their regular health care provider to let them know they were exposed to the measles, Health Department officials said.

“In addition, Tacoma General is directly contacting persons who were present -- clients, visitors, and staff -- during the times of potential exposure on July 3 and 4,” a department statement said. “Secondary cases emerging from exposures to this case could be seen as early as July 10 or as late as July 21.”

Pierce County's two confirmed cases are part of an ongoing measles outbreak in Washington state and in addition to 10 confirmed cases in King County, since May 30.

The King County cases are in a community from Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) where a large measles outbreak is occurring, health officials said. The first Pierce County case was exposed to one of the King County cases in a Pierce County emergency department on June 10.

The Health Department announced the first case on June 27.

Pierce County residents should check their vaccination records to ensure they are up to date on the measles vaccination, and other important vaccinations.

"Vaccination remains our best protection against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases," Nigel Turner, a Health Department director said in a statement. "Pierce County's high rate of immunization among school children is helping to reduce the impact of this disease on our entire community."

People concerned about measles should be alert for an illness with fever or illness with an unexplained rash, for at least the next three weeks. A combination of these signs or symptoms is a strong indicator of measles: fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes.

Health official said now is a good time to confirm whether or not you've been vaccinated for measles or have had measles previously. Since most people in our area have immunity to the measles through vaccination, the risk to the general public is low, they said.

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