Measles Case Identified in Spokane County

Measles Case Identified in Spokane County

Apr 21, 2015

Health District encourages everyone to check measles vaccination status


For more information, contact Kim Papich, SRHD Public Information Officer (509) 324-1539 or kpapich@srhd.org

SPOKANE, Wash. – April 21, 2015 - Local public health officials have confirmed a measles infection in a Spokane County adult. Officials are working to identify how the unvaccinated individual was exposed, but there is no indication of recent travel or contact with a known case. This measles case is not related to the large, national outbreak linked to an amusement park in California, which was declared over on April 17, 2015. Spokane County has not had a documented case of measles since 1994.

Most people have immunity to the measles through vaccination, so the risk to the general public is low. But with confirmation of measles virus here, Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) is advising individuals to check their children’s and their own vaccination status and verify that they are up-to-date with the measles mumps rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Before receiving the measles diagnosis, the individual was in the following public locations. Anyone who was at the following locations during the times listed was possibly exposed to measles:

  • Sunday, April 12, 2015 3:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Qdoba and Subway – 901 S. Grand, Spokane, WA 99202

  • Monday, April 13, 2015 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. North Park Racquet and Athletic Club – 8121 N. Division, Spokane, WA 99208

  • Wednesday, April 15, 2015 3:45 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Franklin Park Urgent Care – 5904 N. Division, Spokane 99208

  • Thursday, April 16, 2015 9:45 p.m. – Midnight Providence Holy Family Hospital - Emergency Department – 5633 N Lidgerwood, Spokane, WA 99208

  • Friday, April 17, 2015 Midnight – 5:00 a.m. Providence Holy Family Hospital - Emergency Department – 5633 N Lidgerwood, Spokane, WA 99208

  • Sunday, April 19, 2015 11:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Providence Holy Family Hospital - Emergency Department -5633 N Lidgerwood, Spokane, WA 99208

If you were at these locations at the times listed above and are not immune to measles, the most likely time you would become sick is between April 18, 2015 to May 10, 2015. If an individual is experiencing symptoms of measles (high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, rash) and believes they may have been exposed, they should contact their health care provider.

“We can expect to see many more cases of this preventable disease unless people take measures to prevent it,” said Dr. Joel McCullough, SRHD health officer. “This is a serious contagious disease and the message is absolutely critical that if you or your child is not vaccinated, you need to get vaccinated.”

Adults should receive at least one dose of measles vaccine, unless they were previously immunized, were born prior to 1957, were previously diagnosed with measles by a doctor, or have other medical contraindications for the vaccine. Adults who are unsure whether they received the vaccine can still get one, since there is no harm in getting it a second time. Pregnant women should wait until after giving birth to get the vaccine.

SRHD continues to partner with Spokane Public Schools and Group Health Foundation to hold free immunization clinics. The next clinic is:

Thursday, May 7, 4 p.m.- 6 p.m. Deer Park Elementary, 1500 E. ‘D’ Street

The clinics offer free administration of all required childhood immunizations for children ages 2-18, including the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine, as well as a limited availability of no-cost vaccines for under insured or uninsured adults, including MMR for adults.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It spreads easily through coughing and sneezing. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat, and is followed by a rash that spreads all over the body. About three out of 10 people who get measles will develop one or more complications including pneumonia, ear infections or diarrhea. One out of 1,000 children with measles will develop inflammation of the brain, and for every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it. Complications are more common in adults and young children.

Measles symptoms begin seven to 21 days after exposure. 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. Although no treatment can get rid of an established measles infection, some over-the-counter medications may be recommended for comfort. Some measures can also be taken to protect vulnerable individuals who have been exposed to the virus. People at highest risk from exposure to measles include those who are unvaccinated, pregnant women, infants under six months of age and those with weakened immune systems.

The health district also encourages health care providers to ensure all patients are up-to-date on MMR vaccine, as well as consider measles a diagnosis when appropriate.

More information about measles, including a fact sheet, is available on the SRHD web site, and translated fact sheets are available on the Public Health – Seattle and King County.

For more information about measles and MMR vaccine visit cdc.gov/measles/about/index.html or srhd.org. Spokane Regional Health District’s web site also offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth