Clark County Public Health’s latest report on the ongoing measles outbreak shows 50 total confirmed cases.
What’s more, the latest update noted all confirmed cases matched a strain of the virus circulating in Eastern Europe.
Public Health’s announcement this afternoon also had 11 suspected cases, three of which the department was able to confirm were initially unimmunized though they received the vaccination after 72 hours of exposure. That was past the time frame to administer the vaccination to prevent the disease from becoming a full-fledged case.
Public Health said about 5 percent of people develop a rash after their first vaccination, but after the 72-hour window that rash could be due to the full-blown disease, not the immunization.
“However, in these situations, it is difficult to determine whether the rash is a benign vaccine reaction or measles illness,” the department states, so they are treating those cases as confirmed and releasing exposure times and places for them. Test results generally take a week.
Public Health said vaccine-related rashes do not make people contagious.
New exposure times and places
• Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center Emergency Department, 2211 NE 139th St., Vancouver
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2
•Sea Mar Medical Clinic Salmon Creek, 14508 NE 20th Ave., Vancouver
8:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1
11:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4
• The Vancouver Clinic Salmon Creek, 2525 NE 139th St., Vancouver:
8 to 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30
Measles: what to know
Those who may have been exposed and believe they have measles symptoms are asked to contact their healthcare provider prior to visiting their offices to avoid more exposure.
Public Health is requiring the exclusion of students and staff without documented immunity to measles from schools identified as possible exposure sites. The exclusion does not apply to students and staff at schools where measles exposure did not occur.
Those with the disease are contagious for four days before a rash appears and up to four days after the rash appears, according to Public Health. The department noted that children younger than 5 and adults older than 20 were most likely to suffer complications including lung and ear infections, diarrhea and in rare cases swelling of the brain.
Public health did note some likely immune groups, such as those born before 1957, those who are certain they have already had the disease and those up-to-date on vaccines — one dose for children up to four years old and two doses for those four and older.
Public Health has established a call center for questions about the investigation: (360) 397-8021. Hours are 9 am to 5 p.m. daily, including weekends. There is also a website which, among other things, features an up-to-date list of potential exposure locations: clark.wa.gov/public-health/measles-investigation.
Anyone with questions about measles infection or the measles vaccine should call their primary care provider or Clark County Public Health, (360) 397-8021.