A Canadian resident from British Columbia who traveled to Seattle in late April 2019 has been diagnosed with measles. The traveler, a man in his 40s, has since recovered from his illness.
Prior to arriving in Seattle, he spent time in Japan and New York during the period that he was infected, two places that currently have measles outbreaks. This case has no connection to the recently-ended measles outbreak based in Clark County.
While he was infectious with measles, he spent time in Seattle at several locations, including popular tourist attractions and Sea-Tac Airport. Anyone who does not have immunity to measles through vaccination or from previously having measles is at risk for infection if they were at a location of measles exposure.
“This case is another reminder that measles is resurgent in many areas of the United States and the world, and that because we all travel, no community is safe from measles introductions,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “Measles vaccine is safe and effective – all adults and children should be sure they are up to date with the recommended doses of the vaccine to protect themselves and their community.”
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, anyone who was in the locations of potential exposure to measles around the times listed below should:
Find out if they have been vaccinated for measles or have had measles previously, and
Call a health care provider promptly if they develop an illness with fever or illness with an unexplained rash between April 27 and May 19, 2019. 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 in King County
The infected individual was in the following public locations; this list is not complete and will be updated on the Public Health Insider blog as new locations are confirmed.
These times include the period when the person was at the location and two hours after. Measles virus can remain in the air for up to two hours after someone infectious with measles leaves the area. Anyone who was at the following locations during the times listed could have been exposed to measles:
Date, time, location
• April 21, 8-10 p.m., Sea-Tac International Airport
• April 24-April 28, starting 10 p.m. (4/24 to noon 4/28, Marriott Courtyard Hotel Pioneer Square, 612 Second Ave, Seattle)
• April 25, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Storyville Coffee (1001 First Ave, Seattle)
• April 26, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Immediate Clinic Capitol Hill (1512 Broadway, Seattle)
• April 26, 12 p.m.-2 p.m., Monorail (Westlake Station to Seattle Center)
• April 26, 2:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., Space Needle (400 Broad St., Seattle)
• April 27, morning, Slate Coffee Roasters (602 Second Ave, Seattle)
• April 27, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., MoPOP – Museum of Pop Culture (325 Fifth Ave, Seattle)
• April 27, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Market Fresh, 720 Olive Way, Seattle)
• April 27, 9:30 p.m.- 2 a.m., The Pink Door (1919 Post Alley, Seattle)
• April 28, morning – Slate Coffee Roasters
• April 28, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Kenmore Air Flight M5 340
Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough and red, watery eyes. It mainly spreads 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.
Measles complications can include ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, and rarely, encephalitis (brain inflammation).
Complications from measles can happen even in healthy people but those at highest risk include: infants and children under 5 years, adults over 20 years, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems from drugs or underlying disease.
For more information about measles and measles vaccination: kingcounty.gov/measles