PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Measles cases and potential exposure sites continue to increase in the region as health departments in Washington and Oregon shared new information Friday.
Three new cases of measles were confirmed in Clark County, bringing to 68 cases identified since the outbreak began January 1. Two other suspected cases are under investigation.
The Oregon Health Authority said an Illinois resident contagious with measles was at PDX on February 22 and locations in Marion County between February 18 – 22.
That person was not immunized and “recently spent time in countries where measles is common,” the OHA said.
In Marion County, the exposure sites and dates are:
> Youth With a Mission, 7085 Battle Creek Road SE, Salem, Feb. 18, 7 a.m. through Feb. 22, 1 p.m.
> Get Air Trampoline Park, 3910 Rickey Street SE, Salem, Feb. 21, 1:45 p.m. to 5 p.m.
> Red Robin, 831 Lancaster Drive NE, Salem, Feb. 21, 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The PDX exposure and date was:
> Southwest Airlines check-in area and Concourse C, Feb. 22, 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The Associated Press reports travelers passing through Chicago’s Midway International Airport last week may have been exposed to measles.
The Illinois Department of Public Health says an unvaccinated Illinois resident passed through Midway on Feb. 22. Department officials announced Thursday people in the airport between 9 p.m. and midnight may have been exposed.
A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines said: “Once notified of a confirmed measles outbreak, Southwest Airlines works closely with the CDC to respond, and follows all CDC recommendations regarding illness response and notification to Customers and Crews.”
‘It’s a little frightening’
Rachel and Travis Griffin, who have young kids, decided to change their dinner plans after learning that the Red Robin in Salem may have been exposed to measles.
“It’s a little frightening,” said Travis Griffin. “I wouldn’t want to get them infected and then infect other people.”
This case marked the first potential exposure for Marion County this year. County officials rushed to contact people who may have been exposed.
“We are trying to limit the spread of disease,” said Marion County Public Health Division Director Katrina Rothenberger. “So anyone who thinks that they may have been exposed should really gives us a call or call their healthcare provider.”
Measles is a highly contagious virus spread through the air. It can linger in a room up to two hours after someone with the virus has been there and you can catch it even before the sick person develops a rash.
The virus starts with a fever and can also cause a runny nose, cough, red eyes, ear infection, diarrhea and a rash of tiny red spots starting at the head and then spreading. It is especially dangerous for babies and young children.
The CDC said almost everyone who has not been vaccinated will get the virus if they are exposed.
Anyone who thinks they have the measles is asked not to go to any healthcare facility without calling ahead first to avoid exposing people in waiting rooms.
Legacy Health has teamed up with the Clark County Health Department to offer free measles (MMR) vaccination clinics to adults and children throughout the month of March.
When: March 1, 8, 15, 22, 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Where: Legacy Medical Group – Family Wellness, 1000 Tech Center Drive Suite 120 in Vancouver
Who: Vaccines will be offered at no cost to children who are at least one year old and who have not had their first measles vaccine; children who are 4 years and older who have not had their second measles vaccine; adults who are under the age of 63 who are unsure if they had the measles and have not had at least one measles vaccine.
For questions about the clinic, contact Legacy Health at 503.413.3083 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.