UPDATE (5/16/19): New exposure locations have been identified since this blog was posted on May 15. All exposure locations in King County, including those from previous cases, are updated at kingcounty.gov/measles/cases.
Four new cases of measles have been identified, as announced today by the Washington State Department of Health, and two of those cases are in King County residents. One is a woman in her forties and the other is a woman in her fifties. The other two cases are in residents of Pierce County and Snohomish County.
At this point in the disease investigation, the sources of the infections are unknown. Public Health – Seattle & King County disease investigators are continuing to work with their counterparts at the Washington State Department of Health, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, and Snohomish Health District to determine if there were any common connections that could link the illnesses. Investigators are exploring a possible common exposure at SeaTac Airport. All of the newly announced cases spent time at SeaTac Airport during their likely time of exposure or infectiousness.
“More measles in our communities means more risk of outbreaks among people who don’t have immunity,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “Measles vaccine is safe, effective, and offers excellent protection. If you aren’t sure if you’re up to date with the recommended doses of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR), it’s safe to get one as a precaution.”
What to do if you were in a location of potential measles exposure
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 locations of potential exposure to measles around the times listed below should:
- Find out if you have been vaccinated for measles or have had measles previously.
- Call a healthcare provider promptly if you develop an illness with fever or illness with an unexplained rash. To avoid possibly spreading measles to others, do not go to a clinic or hospital without calling first to tell them you want to be evaluated for measles.
- Vaccination or medication can be given after exposure in some cases to prevent illness – check with your healthcare provider. This is especially important for people at high risk for measles complications (see below).
Measles symptoms could appear starting from seven days after the first exposure to twenty-one days after the last exposure to someone with measles. Rash is most likely to appear a few days after the fever, ten to twelve days after an exposure.
Locations of potential exposure to measles in King County
Transmission of measles can occur before people know they have the disease, before any rash appears. Before the measles diagnosis was made, the infected individuals were in the following public locations.
These times include the period when the person was at the location and two hours after. Measles virus can remain in the air for up to two hours after someone infectious with measles leaves the area. Anyone who was at the following locations during the times listed could have been exposed to measles:
NOTE: new exposure locations have been identified since this blog was posted on May 15. All exposure locations in King County, including those from previous cases, are updated at kingcounty.gov/measles/cases.
|May 6-9, 2019||7:30 am – 6 pm||Issaquah High School 700 2nd Ave SE|
|May 6, 2019||6 pm – 1 pm||Coldwell Banker Bain 1151 NW Sammamish Rd., Ste. 103 |
|May 7, 2019||4 pm – 9 pm||Coldwell Banker Bain 1151 NW Sammamish Rd, Ste. 103, |
|May 7 – 10, 2019||3 am – 4 pm||SeaTac International |
Airport, 1st Floor
Skybridge 5, Terminal to Baggage claim area
|May 7, 2019||9 am – 2 pm||Third & Broad |
2901 3rd Ave
|May 7, 2019||12 pm – 2:30 pm||Cherry St Coffee |
2719 1st Ave Seattle
|May 9, 2019||5:30 pm – 9:00 pm||Hops n Drops |
4506 Klahanie Dr. SE
|May 9, 2019||9 am – 6 pm||Third & Broad |
2901 3rd Ave
|May 9, 2019||11:30 am – 2:30 pm||Matt’s in the Market |
94 Pike St, Ste. 32
|May 10, 2019||11 am – 4:00 pm||Open House at |
4548 244th PL SE
|May 12, 2019||9:30 am-1:00 pm||Coldwell Banker Bain 1151 NW Sammamish Rd, Ste. 103|
As more locations are identified, they will be added to a list of all measles cases and locations of exposure in King County at kingcounty.gov/measles/cases.
More information about other cases in Washington state is available from the Washington State Department of Health.
Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes. It mainly spreads through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes.
Measles symptoms begin seven to 21 days after exposure to someone with measles. 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.
Measles complications can include ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, and rarely, encephalitis (brain inflammation). Complications from measles can happen even in healthy people but those at highest risk include: infants and children under 5 years, adults over 20 years, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems from drugs or underlying disease. If you are in one of these high risk groups and were exposed to measles, be sure to contact your health care provider to discuss the need for treatment to prevent measles infection.
Measles is preventable with the safe and highly effective measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), two doses of the MMR vaccine are more than 95 percent effective in preventing measles and that protection is long lasting.
What public health officials are doing
Investigation of infectious diseases is one of the essential services local health departments provide. Public Health – Seattle & King County is working in close coordination with the Washington State Department of Health, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, and Snohomish Health District on measles investigations.
Because of increased measles activity nationally, health departments throughout Washington state are also alerting healthcare providers and working with schools and communities to provide education about preventing measles. �
For more information and updates about measles and measles vaccination: kingcounty.gov/measles
Originally posted on May 15, 2019.
6 thoughts on “Four new measles cases in Washington, two in King County”
The correct address for the Coldwell Banker Bain office is 1151 NW Sammamish Rd #103, Issaquah, WA 98027
I’m highly suspicious of your claims of a measles epidemic. Anyone that is living in the United States legally has either been immunized and or like myself a baby boomer experienced having had the measles back in the early 60s. So telling people that there’s an epidemic of measles going around is a bunch of BS. Why don’t you be truthful with the community about the numbers of the epidemic of measles. Because why have we been immunizing our children since the 60s in particular with the MMR which we now know give children autism due to the fact that there’s Mercury formaldehyde and aluminum in those vaccines. If you don’t believe that do the research there’s a lot of research out there with the truth fact-based.
A couple of cases of measles is not an epidemic you need to look up the definition of epidemic before you post a to scare people tactic that is false. If you plan on being a journalist turn person do your research before you make claims on an epidemic.
Why have you not mentioned that those infected were up to date with their mmr…including the teacher? That fact changes this story significantly!
As of May 17th, the total number of Measles cases in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Clark counties reached 78 cases, of which 63 were not immunized, 3 were partially immunized, 11 had an unknown immunization status, and only 1 was fully immunized (WSDOH Measles). I think this statistic shows the importance of Measles vaccinations, especially among populations who are most at risk. Clearly, refusing vaccinations puts individuals at a higher risk of contracting the disease than those who have received their full vaccinations. According to the Washington Department of Health, 52 of the cases reported are among 1 to 10-year-olds. It seems unethical to put young children who do not have a say in whether they can be vaccinated in danger of this avoidable illness. According to the CDC, side effects of the vaccine include sore arms from the injection, fever, redness or rash and swelling of the glands in the cheek or neck. However, these side effects are minimal compared to contracting the disease itself. Vaccination is also crucial for keeping the entire population protected from Measles; the more people who refuse, the more people who will be put at risk. In Washington State, 1 in 10 kindergarteners, as well as 4 percent of 6th graders have not received both doses of the MMR vaccine (WSDOH Measles). While this may seem like a small percentage, it opens the door for increased risk of outbreaks like the ones we are currently seeing across the state.
There needs to be a larger discussion about the MMR Vaccine Exemption Laws, which allow parents to use religion as a means to avoid the vaccine. Despite a new law going into effect on July 28, 2019, children can still attend public and private schools across Washington if they use religious exemptions to refuse vaccines, putting this vulnerable age group at higher risk (WSDOH MMR). While I believe everyone should have the right to make independent medical decisions, when these decisions begin to affect the entire population, there need to be better systems in place that address the ethics of such decisions, in order to avoid future outbreaks and avoidable deaths associated with Measles.
United States. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Possible Side-effects from Vaccines.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 12
July. 2018. Web. 15 May 2019.
Washington State Department of Health (WSDOH). “Measles 2019.” Washington State
Department of Health. May 2019. Web. 15 May 2019.
Washington State Department of Health (WSDOH). “MMR Vaccine Exemption Law Change
2019.” Washington State Department of Health. May 2019. Web. 15 May 2019.
I have been seeing a lot of cases from the measles outbreak since the beginning of this year and it has made me think about herd immunity in the Pacific Northwest and those who are at risk due to their inabilities to vaccinate (such as newborns, those with chronic diseases, etc.). The recent hot topic of anti-vaxxers and their choice to not vaccinate has frustrated many individuals and healthcare professionals all over the country. When talking about the choice to vaccinate or not in class, questions of autonomy versus protection of communities arise and it has been difficult to come to a conclusion to the debate. However, the CDC just reported that on May 10th, there has been a total of 839 measles cases across 23 states. It was also stated that there was an increase of 75 cases since the prior week and the amount of cases as of 2019 has been declared the highest ever since the U.S. declared measles eradicated in 2000. As a public health student, this worries me because we’re taking a step backwards in the overall health outcomes of Americans. The rising rates of people deciding not to vaccinate hinders the elimination of measles and promotes the spread of the disease across neighboring communities. This blog post states the locations of where measles has been reported since May 6th, and most of them have been reported to be from the Issaquah and Seattle area. I think that this shows how easily measles can spread and highlights the urgency of this outbreak.
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