Local health officials are concerned, after learning of a confirmed case of measles in a person who visited Washington County from August 14th-17th. Measles is a highly contagious and potentially serious illness caused by a virus. It is spread through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes.
Because most people in our area have been vaccinated against measles, the risk to the general public is low. However, people who were in the same locations as the contagious traveler should be aware of their measles vaccination history and be alert to any symptoms. If symptoms appear such as an unexplained rash, fever and cough, they should call their health care provider or urgent care facility first to avoid exposing other people.
Measles poses the highest risk to people who have not been vaccinated, to pregnant women, infants under 12 months and people with weakened immune systems. You are considered immune to measles if ANY of the following apply to you:
1. You were born before 1957 or;
2. You are certain you have had the measles or;
3. You have been fully vaccinated for measles (two doses).
The contagious traveler visited the Portland metro area for the United States Tennis Association Pacific Northwest Juniors Sectional Tennis Tournament in Washington County on August 14-17. People who were at any of the following locations at these dates and times were possibly exposed:
Thursday, August 15
• 7:30-10:00 am -continental breakfast at Shilo Hotel (Canyon Road)
• 9:15 -1:45 pm - West View High School tennis courts
• 12:00-2:30 pm-Michael’s Craft Store (Evergreen)
• 12:30-3:00 pm - Sports Authority (next to Michael’s)
• 1:15-4:00 pm - Sweet Tomatoes (Beaverton)
• 2:10-5:15 pm -West View High School tennis courts
• 3:30-7:30 pm - West Hills Tennis Club
• 7:00-9:45 pm -Fred Meyer on Walker/158th
Friday, August 16
• 7:00-9:30 am- continental breakfast at Shilo hotel (Canyon Road)
• 8:30-12:00 pm - Jesuit High School tennis courts
• 12:00-3:00 pm --West View High School tennis courts
• 1:15-3:45 pm Sun Teriyaki (next door to Fred Meyer/158th)
• 1:15-3:45 pm Best Teriyaki (next door to Fred Meyer/158th)
• 3:30-6:15 pm DSW Shoes (185th in Beaverton) - new addition
• 4:00-8:30 pm --West View High School tennis courts
• 7:00-9:30 pm -Fred Meyer on Walker/158th
Saturday, August 17
• 7:30-10:00 am -continental breakfast at Shilo hotel (Canyon Road)
• 9:30-1:00 pm -- West View High School tennis courts
• 1:30-4:30 pm - Portland Community College Rock Creek Campus tennis courts
• 2:40-5:00 pm - Baskin Robbins (Walker Rd)
• 4:00-6:45 pm-Target (SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy)
• 5:30-9:00 pm -- Washington Mall-especially Footlocker, Champs, H&M, Game Stop, Apple, Pac Sun, and food court
"Measles is a serious disease that was eliminated from circulation in the United States thanks to routine childhood vaccination,’’ said Dr. Jennifer Vines, Washington County Health Officer. "When we see measles today, it is rare and usually the result of a person who was not vaccinated being exposed while traveling outside the United States. Because measles is so contagious, high levels of immunity in the community are needed to prevent its spread."
The symptoms of measles start with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes followed by a red rash that begins at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.
People are contagious with measles for four days before the rash appears and up to four days after the rash appears.
After someone is exposed, illness usually develops in seven to 14 days. In rare cases, it can take up to up to 21 days for symptoms to occur. For this particular exposure, public health officials expect the onset of symptoms in newly infected people by September 7, 2013 at the latest.
Anyone who has been exposed and believes they have symptoms of measles should first contact their health care provider or urgent care by telephone to avoid exposing others.
"Immunization is the best protection against measles" says Dr. Vines. "Now is a very good time to make sure you and your children have been vaccinated against measles."
Anyone with questions about measles infection or the measles vaccine should contact their primary care provider or their local county health department.