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News / Health / Clark County Health

Clark County confirmed measles cases up to 61

Two new confirmed cases, two additional possible exposure sites

By Jack Heffernan, Columbian county government and small cities reporter
Published: February 17, 2019, 4:31pm

Two new local measles cases have been confirmed, bringing the total to 61 since Jan. 1, according to Clark County Public Health. Public health officials also announced two more possible exposure sites.

The county is not currently investigating any suspected cases, according to a press release Sunday from the public health department. Image Elementary School — 4400 N.E. 122nd Ave. — and Pacific Middle School — 2017 N.E. 172nd Ave. — both in Vancouver, have been added to the list of possible exposure sites. For a complete list of exposure sites, visit: columbian.com/news/2019/jan/29/measles-exposure-sites.

Most of the cases, 44, involve children under age 11. Other cases include 14 between the ages of 11 and 19, one between the ages of 19 and 29 and two between the ages of 30 and 39.

Of the 61 people who have contracted measles, 54 were not immunized, five were not verified and two received one dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

For more information on the outbreak, visit Clark County Public Health’s measles investigation webpage at Clark.wa.gov/Public-Health/Measles-Investigation.

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.

Columbian county government and small cities reporter