Local public health officials have confirmed a measles infection in a traveler who was at Sea-Tac airport and two locations in Seattle during his contagious period.
The traveler is a resident of California and was likely exposed to the measles while on a flight with an earlier confirmed measles case on March 21, 2014.
What to do if you were in a location of potential measles exposure
Most people in our 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
- Call a health care provider promptly if they develop an illness with fever or illness with an unexplained rash between April 7th and April 21st. 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.
Locations of potential exposure to measles
Before receiving the measles diagnosis, the traveler was in West Seattle and at Sea-Tac Airport. Anyone who was at Sea-Tac Airport or the locations listed during the following times was possibly exposed to measles:
- Sea-Tac Airport, 03/31/2014 , 4:30p.m.-8:30p.m.: Concourse B
- Safeway, 9620 28th Ave SW, 03/30/2014, 4:00p.m.-8:00 p.m.
- Marshalls, 2600 SW Barton Street, 3/30/2014, 4:00p.m.-8:00 p.m.
If you were at one of the locations at the times listed above and are not immune to measles, the most likely time you would become sick is between April 7th and April 21st.
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.
Measles vaccination schedule
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.
For help finding low cost health services, call the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.