Local public health officials are investigating a confirmed case of measles infection in a traveler who was at Sea-Tac airport during the contagious period. The traveler was likely exposed to measles outside of the United States.
According to the King County Department of Public Health, most people in the area have immunity to the measles through vaccination, so the risk to the general public is low. However, all persons who were in the following locations around the same time as the individual with measles should:
•Find out if they have been vaccinated for measles or have had measles previously, and
•Call a healthcare provider promptly if they develop an illness with fever or illness with an unexplained rash between Sept. 13 and Sept. 27. To avoid possibly spreading measles to other patients, do not go to a clinic or hospital without calling first to tell them you want to be evaluated for measles.
Before receiving the measles diagnosis, the traveler was at Sea-Tac Airport and the Courtyard Seattle Federal Way Hotel's restaurant, The Bistro. Anyone who was at Sea-Tac Airport or The Bistro during the following times was possibly exposed to measles:
•Sea-Tac Airport, Sept. 6, 2014, North Satellite Terminal, Satellite Transit Interterminal Train, and Baggage Claim, from 8:10 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
•Courtyard Seattle Federal Way, The Bistro, Sept. 6, 2014, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough and red, watery eyes. It is mainly spread through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes. 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. 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.
Children should be vaccinated with two doses of the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine. The first dose should be at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at four through six years of age. Infants traveling outside the United States can be vaccinated as early as six months but must receive the full two dose series beginning at 12 months of age; more information is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
Adults should have at least one dose of measles vaccine, and two doses are recommended for international travelers, healthcare workers, and students in college, trade school, and other schools after high school.
Source: King County Department of Public Health