Washington state health officials are reporting four additional confirmed measles cases in three counties.

Two measles cases were reported in King County and one each in Snohomish and Pierce Counties.

While the exact exposure information for the new cases is not yet known, all spent time in SeaTac airport during their likely time of exposure or infectiousness.

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In Pierce County, the patient is a man in his 50s who spent time at places in the Puyallup area while contagious. He was not hospitalized and is recovering at home. Another Pierce County man was diagnosed over the weekend.

Before the diagnosis, this man went to two public places.

The times below include when the man was at the location and two hours after. Measles virus can stay in the air for up to two hours after an infected person leaves.

Anyone who was at these places during the times listed could have been exposed:

  • Target South Hill Mall, Puyallup: May 11, 10:35 a.m.-1:50 p.m.
  • Costco (Puyallup): May 11, 11 a.m.-1:20 p.m.

The Snohomish Health District only said they are currently investigating a confirmed measles case.

The number of measles cases reported in King County is now three.

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Measles is one of the most highly contagious diseases, but is preventable through vaccination. The measles virus is spread through coughing and sneezing. Before widespread use of measles vaccines there was an average of half a million measles cases and hundreds of deaths each year in the United States.

Measles is common in many parts of the world, including both industrialized and developing countries. Local cases of measles are often linked to travel or exposure to recent travelers. Worldwide, more than 20 million people are infected each year. Measles is the leading cause of vaccine-preventable death among children in the world.