Local public health officials have confirmed a measles infection in an infant residing in Snohomish County. The person is believed to have been infected with measles during travel in South Asia prior to arriving in the state. The Health District’s Communicable Disease & Surveillance team is also monitoring the health status of other individuals in the family who were exposed.
Confirmation came in February 21. Before the infant was diagnosed, others may have been exposed in the following locations:
Sea-Tac Airport during these times:
• February 19: 11:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Seattle Children’s Hospital, Emergency Room Lobby, 4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, during these times:
• February 20: 12:34 a.m. – 2:49 a.m.
Health officials at the Snohomish Health District, Public Health – Seattle & King County, and Washington State Department of Health have been contacting impacted locations to alert them of the potential exposures.
Most people in our area have immunity to the measles through vaccination, so the risk to the general public is low. However, anyone who was in the above locations around the same time as the individual with measles should:
- Find out if they have been vaccinated for measles, have evidence of measles immunity from blood testing, or have had measles previously. Measles vaccination is recommended within 72 hours of exposure for people who are not already immune. AND
- Call a health care provider promptly if they develop an illness with fever or illness with an unexplained rash between now through March 12. To avoid possibly spreading measles to other patients, do not go to a clinic or hospital without calling first to tell them you want to be evaluated for measles.
To protect the privacy of the infant and family, no additional information about the measles case is being shared at this time.
Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes. It is mainly spread through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes.
Measles symptoms begin seven to 21 days after exposure. Measles is contagious from approximately four days before the rash appears through four days after the rash appears. People can spread measles before they have the characteristic measles rash.
People at highest risk from exposure to measles include those who are unvaccinated, pregnant women, infants under six months of age and those with weakened immune systems. A person is considered immune to measles if any of the following apply:
- You were born before 1957
- You have had a blood test result that shows immunity to measles
- You are certain you have previously had measles diagnosed by a healthcare provider
- You are up-to-date on measles vaccines (one dose for children age 12 months through three years old, two doses in anyone four years and older).
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