Photo: Centers of Disease Control
Clark County Public Health is investigating a potential case of measles in a young child. The child, who is up to date on immunizations, was exposed by an individual later confirmed to have measles in Multnomah County. Clark County Public Health is advising anyone who has been exposed 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.
People who visited three public locations may have been exposed to measles. Those include:
- Persons who visited JCPenney, 19005 SE Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver, from 2 to 5 pm on June 27.
- Persons who visited Ross Dress for Less, 4708 NE Thurston Way, Vancouver, from noon to 3 pm on June 28.
- Persons who visited Svitoch, 4804 NE Thurston Way, Vancouver, from noon to 3 pm on June 28.
Measles is a highly contagious and potentially serious illness caused by a virus. It is spread through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes. A person with measles can spread the virus before they show symptoms. The virus can also linger in the air after someone who is infectious has left.
Measles poses the highest risk to people who have not been vaccinated, pregnant women, infants younger than 12 months and people with weakened immune systems. Persons are likely immune (not susceptible) to measles if any of the following apply:
- They were born before 1957.
- They are certain they have had measles.
- They are up to date on measles vaccines (one dose for children 12 months through 3 years old, two doses in anyone 4 years and older).
After someone is exposed, illness develops in about one to three weeks.
Measles symptoms begin with a 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. People are contagious with measles for four days before the rash appears and up to four days after the rash appears.
Common complications of measles include ear infection, lung infection and diarrhea. Swelling of the brain is a rare but much more serious complication. For every 1,000 children with measles, one or two will die from the disease.
Anyone with questions about measles infection or the measles vaccine should call their primary care provider or Clark County Public Health at 564.397.8182.
Washington State Department of Health: www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/Measles
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/measles