February 24, 2019

Updated April 16: Measles has been ruled out following additional testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Health officials have identified a possible measles case in a Multnomah County resident.

This is the fifth case in a Multnomah County resident so far this year. The prior four cases were directly linked to the ongoing measles outbreak in Washington State, where Clark County Public Health in Vancouver has reported 65 cases of measles.

County public health officials have not identified a link between the Clark County outbreak and the new case identified Saturday, Feb. 23.

“We are notifying people who were potentially exposed out of an abundance of caution,” said Dr. Jennifer Vines, Multnomah County deputy health officer. “The good news is that measles is not spreading from Clark County to the Portland metro area.”

Most Oregonians, and 96 percent of school-age students, have immunity to measles because of the effective vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella, known as the MMR. When measles gets introduced to Oregon, it can spread among people who are not up-to-date on their immunization.

People may have been exposed to measles at the following locations and times:

  • Portland International Airport: Tuesday Feb. 19, 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

  • Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel emergency department: 10:30 p.m Tuesday, Feb. 19 to 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Who to Call

Public health officials urge anyone who 1) Is not immune AND 2) has been exposed to measles AND 3) has symptoms to call to their health care provider before going to an urgent care or emergency room.  An entry plan to avoid exposing others in waiting rooms can help stop the spread of measles.

Anyone with questions about measles infection or the measles vaccine should call their primary care provider or their county health department. For more information on measles for the public, please visit the OHA measles webpage or call the public health departments in the following counties:

  • Multnomah County Public Health: 503-988-3406

  • Clark County Public Health: 360-397-8021

  • Washington County Public Health: 503-846-3594

  • Clackamas County Public Health: 503-655-8411

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,.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes. People are contagious with measles when their symptoms begin until four days after the rash appears. The virus can also linger in the air after someone who is infectious has left.

A person is considered immune to measles if any of the following apply:

  1. You were born before 1957.

  2. A physician diagnosed you with measles in the past.

  3. A blood test proves that you are immune.

  4. You have been fully vaccinated against measles  (one dose for children 12 months through 4 years old, two doses in anyone 4 years and older).