Health officials report two new cases of measles from Marion County exposure

March 22, 2019

A Multnomah County and a Clackamas County resident have been diagnosed with the measles.

The two cases stem from an outbreak that began in Marion County, where two people have tested positive for measles. This outbreak is unrelated to a large outbreak that began in Clark County, Wash. in January.

The Clackamas County resident had previously visited a Salem missionary training school, Youth With a Mission, during the same time as an Illinois resident who was contagious with measles.

“The spread of this disease in Oregon is a sobering reminder of how this virus can travel,” said, Ann Thomas, MD, Public Health Physician at OHA. “So, if you haven’t already, make sure all adults and children in your household are up to date on vaccines.”

EXPOSURES

The Oregon residents visited the following locations while contagious with measles:

WHOM TO CALL

Public health officials urge people not to arrive unannounced at a medical office, if:

  1. They are not immune AND
  2. They have been exposed within the previous 21 days AND
  3. They have symptoms of measles (such as fever, cough, red eyes or rash)

First, call a health care provider or urgent care center by telephone to create an entry plan to avoid exposing others in waiting rooms.

People with questions about measles infection or the measles vaccine should call their primary care provider or their county health department.

  • Multnomah County Public Health: 503-988-3406
  • Clackamas County Public Health: 503-655-8411
  • Marion County Public Health: 503-588-5621
  • Clark County Public Health: 564-397-8182

ABOUT MEASLES

Measles poses the highest risk to unvaccinated pregnant women, infants under 12 months of age, and people with weakened immune systems.

The symptoms of measles start with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash that usually begins on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.

Common complications of measles include ear infection, lung infection, and diarrhea. Swelling of the brain is a rare but much more serious complication.

After someone contracts measles, illness develops in about two weeks, but people can be contagious up to 4 days before they get a rash.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes. People are contagious with measles for four days before the rash appears and up to four days afterwards. The virus can also linger in the air for up to two hours after someone who is infectious has left the area.

You are considered immune to measles if ANY of the following apply:

  • You were born before 1957.
  • Your physician has diagnosed you with measles.
  • A blood test proves that you are immune.
  • You have had 2 doses of measles vaccine.

For more information on measles for the public, please visit the OHA measles web page or see answers to common questions about measles in English and other languages here: Winter 2019 Measles Outbreak: Frequently Asked Questions.

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Media Contacts

Delia Hernandez, Oregon Health Authority, phd.communications@state.or.us, 503-422-7179

Julie Sullivan-Springhetti, Multnomah County, julie.sullivan-springhetti@multco.us, 503-709-9858.

Tim Heider, Clackamas County, 503-742-5911, theider@clackamas.us

Katrina Rothenberger, Marion County, 503-588-5621, krothenberger@co.marion.or.us