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Measles alert: Low health risk, unless you haven't been vaccinated

Measles alert: Low health risk, unless you haven't been vaccinated
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PORTLAND, Ore. - Health officials have issued an alert after a person was diagnosed with measles, which is highly contagious.

Most of us are vaccinated against measles, which means the risk to the general public is low.

But for those who aren't vaccinated, measles can be a potentially serious illness. Those at highest risk are pregnant women, infants under 12 months old and those with weakened immune systems.

Measles is spread through the air when a person coughs or sneezes. Anyone who was at any of the following locations on these specific dates could have been exposed:

Thursday, October 31

  • OHSU Emergency Department from 12 p.m. to 9:40 p.m.
  • OHSU Doernbecher 9N, 7:35 p.m. to midnight

Friday, November 1

  • OHSU Doernbecher 9N, all day

Saturday, November 2

  • OHSU Doernbecher 9N, all day until 9:10pm 

Monday, November 4

  • The UPS Store, 16055 SW Walker Road, Beaverton, 3:30 -6:00 p.m.
  • Kaiser Beaverton Medical Office, 4:20-6:00 p.m. 

Tuesday, November 5

  • Kaiser Beaverton Medical Office, 10:50 a.m. - 3:20 p.m.

"Measles is a serious disease that was eliminated from circulation in the United States thanks to routine childhood vaccination," said Dr. Paul Lewis, Deputy Health Officer for Washington County. "Because measles is so contagious, high levels of immunity in the community are needed to prevent its spread."

You are considered immune if you were born before 1957, you have had a case of measles in the past or you have been fully vaccinated (two doses are required).

Symptoms

  • 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 November 26, 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.

If you have further questions about measles infection or the measles vaccine, contact your primary care provider or your local county health department.  

  • Clackamas County Public Health 503-655-8411
  • Clark County Public Health 360-397-8182
  • Multnomah County Public Health 503-988-3406
  • Washington County Public Health 503-846-3594
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