MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Measles case reported at West Seattle clinic; know the symptoms

Jun 14, 2024, 1:19 PM

Image: A dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is displayed at the Neighborcare Health cli...

A dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is displayed at the Neighborcare Health clinics at Vashon Island High School on Vashon Island on May 15, 2019.( File photo: Elaine Thompson, AP)

( File photo: Elaine Thompson, AP)

A new case of measles was confirmed in King County Friday.

A child, now confirmed to have measles, went to the Franciscan Health Urgent Care clinic in West Seattle, Public Health – Seattle & King County officials said in a release Friday. Now, officials are warning others may have also been exposed.

The child was there on June 10 “during a period when they were infectious but before being diagnosed,” officials said. Anyone who was at the facility from 3:30 to 8 p.m. could have been exposed. The clinic is located in Suite 110 at 4755 Fauntleroy Way Southwest.

Officials said the child is not vaccinated and likely picked up the disease when traveling abroad.

“Measles is highly contagious and if you don’t have immunity, you can get it just by being in a room where a person with measles has been,” said Dr. Eric Chow, communicable disease chief for Seattle and King County.

Vaccination remains highly effective against the disease, with most people having been vaccinated before turning 6 years old.

Previous recent measles cases

Friday’s announcement is the third measles-related warning Public Health – Seattle & King County (Public Health) has issued in the last two months.

Most recently, Public Health said in a statement it was notified May 30 about a confirmed measles case in an adult who traveled through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac Airport) on May 10 and 11 while infectious. That person lives in Arizona and was likely exposed to measles while traveling to or within Europe. The person’s vaccine status is unknown.

“Measles is highly contagious and if you don’t have immunity, you can get it just by being in a room where a person with measles has been,” Chow said in a separate statement issued at the time of the news being disclosed. “We’ve seen an increase in measles cases around the world and in the U.S., so it’s an important time to check your vaccination status and get vaccinated if you aren’t protected.”

Previous coverage: Confirmed measles case at Sea-Tac Airport

In April, Public Health reported a group of international travelers were exposed to a person with measles prior to arriving in Seattle. The agency reported members of the group who did not have evidence of immunity to measles entered quarantine after arriving in Seattle.

Later, the agency updated its previous online post to report one of the people in the group of travelers developed measles while in quarantine in the Puget Sound. That person is recovering and is no longer contagious, Public Health reported.

The other travelers who were exposed and did not have evidence of immunity have completed their quarantines as well. There are no exposures to the general public.

“We recognize how challenging this situation was for the group of travelers. It is very difficult to quarantine away from everyone for weeks, particularly when traveling far from home,” Medical Epidemiologist for Public Health Elysia Gonzales said in the statement issued April 29.

Isolation: International students in quarantine in King County hotel after measles exposure

What to know about measles

Public Health’s website includes a significant amount of information about measles.

The agency states that people in Seattle and King County at large have immunity to the measles through a previous vaccination, so “the risk to the general public is low.” That said, it also said people who were in the location of potential exposure to measles around the times listed should complete the following steps:

  • Find out if you have been vaccinated for measles or have had measles previously. That includes talking to your doctor and making sure you are up-to-date with the recommended measles (MMR) vaccinations.
  • Reach out to a healthcare provider promptly if you develop an illness with fever or with an unexplained rash. The agency suggests not going to a clinic or a hospital without calling first to tell them you want to be checked for measles after an exposure. This is important because medical professionals will want to do everything possible to avoid possibly spreading measles to others. “It’s important to limit contact with others, especially those without known immunity,” Public Health says on its site.
  • Consider that vaccination or medication can be still be provided after exposure, in some cases to prevent illness, the agency states. Therefore, it remains vital to check with your healthcare provider. This is especially important for people at high risk for measles complications.

You can read more of Sam Campbell’s stories here. Follow Sam Campbell on X, or email him here.

Steve Coogan is the lead editor of MyNorthwest. You can read more of his stories here. Follow Steve on X, or email him here.

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