In a follow-up on a report earlier this week of a confirmed measles case in the Portland area, the first case in four years, the Multnomah County Health Department confirmed a second case on Friday.
An individual diagnosed Friday, July 6 had been in close contact with an individual diagnosed with measles on June 27. Multnomah County Communicable Disease Services alerted the second individual of the exposure and made sure that person stayed at home and away from others. The second individual was in daily contact with Multnomah County’s team to check for symptoms.
“This individual did exactly the right thing,” said Dr. Jennifer Vines, Multnomah County’s deputy health officer. “When this person began having symptoms, they called us immediately. And we worked together to get the individual health care in a way that did not expose anyone else to the virus. This is how we stop outbreaks.”
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The Health Department’s Communicable Disease Services team confirmed that case in a person who spent time in a Gresham child care center and visited the Adventist Health Portland emergency room. The person is believed to have been infected with measles while traveling outside the country. Multnomah County Health Department staff notified individuals of their potential exposure and offered a just-in-time vaccine to some exposed people.
The most recent case did not have documentation of prior immunizations. The person who traveled abroad did have vaccine records.
“The Measles vaccine one of the most effective vaccines we have,” Vines said. “But no vaccine is 100 percent.”
A team of nurses and epidemiologists continue to check in daily with about 40 individuals who were exposed and are considered non-immune. For this exposure, public health officials expect symptoms in anyone newly infected to appear by mid-July at the latest.
Multnomah County Health Department officials worked closely with Adventist Health Portland, the childcare center, and others to notify people who were in the same locations as the sick person.