A case of measles in a child has been reported in Clark County, the first one in several months following a 72-case outbreak earlier this year.
Clark County Public Health made the announcement this afternoon, stating the case was in a child between 1 and 10 years old who traveled internationally to a country currently experiencing an outbreak. According to the announcement, the child returned to Clark County Nov. 14, visiting Portland International Airport and two area hospitals including one in Vancouver while contagious.
The locations and dates of potential exposure are:
• 10:30 am to noon Thursday, Nov. 14 at Portland International Airport, 7000 NE Airport Way, Portland, Concourse E, north end of lower level, including restrooms and baggage claim.
• 12:45 to 5:05 pm Thursday, Nov. 14. At PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, 400 NE Mother Joseph Place, Vancouver.
• 11:50 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 to 4:25 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 17 at Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel, 2801 N Gantenbein Ave., Portland.
Public Health advised anyone who may have been exposed and believes they have symptoms of measles to call their health care provider prior to visiting the medical office in order to avoid exposure while visiting. Susceptible individuals could develop symptoms anytime between Nov. 18 to Dec. 9.
“This is an unfortunate reminder that measles is only a plane, car, bus or train ride away,” Clark County Public Health director and county health officer Alan Melnick said in the announcement. “Immunization is the best way to protect yourself and the community from measles.”
The announcement cited information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that stated one dose of the vaccine is 93 percent effective, with a full two doses being 97 percent effective.
After someone is exposed, illness develops in about one to three weeks, according to Public Health. Measles symptoms begin with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash that usually begins at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.
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.
In an outbreak spanning from January to April this year Clark County had 72 confirmed measles cases, the announcement noted. Public Health previously reported that the total cost for the outbreak was close to $865,000, with agency staffing accounting for the largest share at about $616,000. While addressing the outbreak, the county was in “incident response” for 63 days starting Jan. 15.
Eventually the outbreak was declared over April 29 after six weeks with no new cases, the announcement stated. Both the county and Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in the county during the outbreak.