Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Sept. 28, 2021

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Four new suspected measles cases identified in Clark County

No new confirmed cases or exposure sites

By , Columbian staff writer

Clark County Public Health has identified four new suspected cases of measles, according to a Thursday press release.

Until those are verified with medical tests, the confirmed total of measles cases remains at 65. There are no new exposure locations. For a complete list of exposure sites, visit our measles exposure site webpage: Columbian.com/news/2019/jan/29/measles-exposure-sites.

Of the 65 confirmed Clark County measles cases, 47 involve children younger than 11. There are 15 cases between the ages of 11 and 18, one between the ages of 19 and 29, and two between the ages of 30 and 39.

In 57 cases, the patients were not immunized and the immunization status of six others remains unverified. There are two cases in which patients had received one of the two recommended doses of the vaccine.

For more information on the outbreak, visit Clark County Public Health’s measles investigation webpage: Clark.wa.gov/public-health/measles-investigation.

Although Clark County has the most cases, other confirmed measles cases have been identified in King County and the Portland area.

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 staff writer