Oregon state health officials have confirmed a second measles case this month. An individual who was diagnosed Sunday, August 19, had been in close contact with an individual diagnosed with measles on August 10.
On August 10, OHA received confirmation of the first case of measles in a person who was infectious and spent time in the Portland Metro area between July 30 and August 6.
“Measles is one of the most contagious diseases we know,” said Rebecca Pierce, RN, PhD, of OHA’s Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention section. “It takes very high levels of vaccination in the population to stop its spread.”
OHA worked with local public health agencies to notify individuals of their potential exposure and to inform them of steps to take to should they become ill, so as to prevent more cases.
This individual traveled out of state during part of the infectious period and, after becoming ill, followed the recommended precautions to avoid exposing others.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that spreads easily to people who are not immune. It is spread through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes. People with measles can spread the virus to others before they show symptoms. The virus can also linger in the air for minutes to hours after someone who is infectious has left.
Most Oregonians have been vaccinated against measles, and their risk is low. Risk may be higher for unvaccinated persons who were in these locations:
- August 17, Portland International Airport, 9:15-10:45 p.m.
- August 18, Marco’s Café and Espresso Bar, 7910 SW 35th Ave., Portland, 8-11 a.m.
“From this exposure, we would expect symptoms in anyone newly infected to appear any time over the next two weeks,” Pierce said. There is no connection between this case and the measles cases that occurred in Multnomah County in June and July, she said.
Measles poses the highest risk to people who have not been vaccinated, to pregnant women, infants under 12 months of age and people with weakened immune systems. A person is considered immune to measles if ANY of the following apply:
- You were born before 1957.
- Your physician has diagnosed you with measles.
- A blood test proves that you are immune.
- You have been fully vaccinated against measles (two doses).
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