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News / Health / Clark County Health

Clark County clocks 53 confirmed measles cases

No new exposure sites; most cases had not been vaccinated

By Wyatt Stayner, Columbian staff writer
Published: February 8, 2019, 3:09pm

Clark County Public Health has confirmed 53 measles cases and seven suspected cases since Jan. 1 in its ongoing outbreak investigation. No new exposure locations have been identified, according to a Public Health news release.

A Feb. 4 exposure at The Vancouver Clinic Salmon Creek has been removed from the list of possible exposure sites, since Public Health discovered the clinic was notified before the possible measles patient arrived and followed proper preventative protocol to ensure patients weren’t exposed to the patient.

Visit here for a complete list of exposure sites: www.columbian.com/news/2019/jan/29/measles-exposure-sites.

Of the 53 cases confirmed, 46 had not been immunized against the highly contagious virus. Immunization status could not be verified for six cases, and one case involved a child who had received only a single dose of the MMR vaccine. Two of those cases have moved to Georgia.

Confirmed Clark County cases include 38 children ages 1 to 10; 13 youths ages 11 to 18; and one adult between 19 and 29; one adult between 30 and 39. There is also a confirmed case in King County and four in Multnomah County, Ore.

What to do if you might be infected

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 90 percent of unvaccinated people exposed to the measles virus come down with the disease. The virus lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person, and can survive for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed.

Health officials are urging anyone who has been exposed at an identified location and believes they have symptoms of measles to call their health care provider prior to visiting the medical office to make a plan that avoids exposing others in the waiting room.

If you are unsure of your family’s immunization status, you can view, download and print your family’s immunization information online at wa.MyIR.net or request a copy of your immunization record from the Washington State Department of Health.

Anyone with questions about measles infection or the measles vaccine should call their primary care provider or a county health department:

Clark County Public Health, 360-397-8021.
Multnomah County, Ore., Public Health, 503-988-3406.
Washington County, Ore., Public Health, 503-846-3594.
Clackamas County, Ore., Public Health, 503-655-8411.

Clark County Public Health has been regularly updating its list of locations where people may have been exposed to measles. There are dozens of locations in total, including hospitals, Portland International Airport and multiple schools.

Public Health has established a call center for questions related to the investigation. Anyone who has questions about public exposures should call 360-397-8021. The call center is open daily.

For a complete list of exposure sites, visit the Public Health measles investigation webpage at www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/Measles/MeaslesOutbreak.

Measles symptoms begin with a high fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash that usually begins at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. A person can spread the virus before they show symptoms.

People are contagious with measles for up to four days before and up to four days after the rash appears. After someone is exposed to measles, illness develops in about one to three weeks.

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Columbian staff writer