Two measles cases were reported in Western Washington this week, and public health officials are warning people to take steps to avoid an infection.
Siblings, an adult and a child, were diagnosed with measles – and authorities said they were in several public locations during the time that they were contagious. It’s believed they contracted measles outside Washington State.
Those two cases confirmed Wednesday are unrelated to the measles case in a Sea-Tac International Airport traveler in early July.
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.
Here are tips from Public Health – Seattle and King County.
What to do if you were in locations of potential measles exposure
Because most people in our area have immunity to the measles through vaccination, the risk to the general public is low. In addition, outdoor exposure locations carry lower risk. However, all people who were in the following locations around the same time as the two individuals with measles should:
- Find out if they have been vaccinated for measles or have had measles previously.
- Call a health care provider promptly if they develop an illness with fever or illness with an unexplained rash between July 16th and August 8th. 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 two contagious individuals were in locations in the community where other people might have been exposed. Anyone who was at the following sites during the following times was possibly exposed to measles:
- Mercerdale Park, 77th SE & SE 32nd, Mercer Island (July 9, 2013: 6pm-10pm)
- Ken's Market, 7231 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle (July 10, 2013: 11am-2pm)
- Spud Fish and Chips, 9702 NE Juanita Dr, Kirkland (July 10, 2013: 2pm-5pm)
- Quality Food Center (QFC), 211 Parkplace Center, Kirkland (July 10, 2013: 3pm-6pm)
- Quality Food Center (QFC), 7823 SE 28th St., Mercer Island (July 10, 2013: 7pm-10pm and July 15, 2013: 1pm-4pm)
If you were in these areas at the times above and are not immune to measles, the most likely time you would become sick is between July 16 and August 8.
Public Health has notified affected locations where the public may have been exposed.
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, click here for a measles fact sheet in multiple languages.