There is a report of more measles here in Seattle. Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe infection that causes fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes. It is mainly spread through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes. King County Public Health released information today detailing new cases and potential places for public exposure to measles infections between July 9th & July 15th. These two new cases are unrelated to the measles case earlier this month in a traveler at the Sea-Tac airport. Much of the information here is thanks to the public health department.

Local public health officials have confirmed measles infections in two siblings, an adult and a child, who were in several public locations during the time that they were contagious. The siblings have been visiting from out of state and public health officials believe that they acquired measles outside of Washington State.

Locations where possible exposures may have occurred:

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Protect Yourself & Your Children From Measles:

  • Measles is a vaccine-preventable illness. Fortunately, most children and adults are protected and safe from getting ill because they are immunized. However, some who are either too young or too sick to be immunized are not. Children are immunized against measles at 12 months of age and then again at 4-6 years of age. After one shot, about 95% of people are protected against meales, and after 2 shots, 99%. In the US, we immunize against measles with the MMR shot (Measles-Mumps-Rubella).
  • People at highest risk after an exposure to measles include those who are unvaccinated, pregnant women, infants under 6 months of age and those with weakened immune systems.

All people who were in the above locations around the same time as the two individuals with measles should:

  1. Find out if they have been vaccinated for measles or have had measles previously.
  2. Call a health care provider promptly if you develop an illness with fever or illness with an unexplained rash between July 16th and August 8th. 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.

MMR Vaccination

  • Children are routinely immunized against measles at 12 months of age and then again at 4-6 years of age with the MMR vaccine.
  • If you are going to travel internationally with your children, it is now recommend that babies between 6-11 months of age get the MMR shot prior to travel. They will still get their 12 month and 4-year doses.
  • Toddlers & preschool travelers over 12 months of age should get the second dose of the MMR shot prior to leaving the country. Don’t wait until they are 4 years old if you’re traveling out of the US. Toddlers/preschoolers who get the 2nd dose early will not have to have the MMR repeated at age 4 years.
  • Two doses of MMR vaccine are recommended for all school students and for the following groups of persons without evidence of measles immunity: students in post–high school educational facilities, healthcare personnel, and international travelers who are ≥ 12 months of age.
  • Read more about measles from King County (in multiple languages) and the MMR shot at CDC website, the AAP website or CHOP Vaccine Education.