OHA: New cases of the measles linked to PDX exposure


Both cases were on the same international flight that landed in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two new cases of measles have been discovered in Multnomah County, the Oregon Health Authority reported Saturday.

Both cases were on the same international flight that landed in the Portland airport on October 12, according to the Multnomah County Health Department. One person was a Lane County resident, while the other was a visitor. The OHA said that their illnesses are connected to an individual with the disease who also passed through the airport on the same day in October.

Passengers flying into PDX are aware that the airport was exposed to someone with the measles, but of the few people KOIN 6 News spoke to on Saturday none were concerned.

“Germs don’t really bother me very much,” said Elly Dewitt, who was traveling through PDX. “I just entered the nursing field, so now I have to get vaccinated for everything.”

“We personally don’t worry too much about it,” said traveler Susie Miller. “But I would be worried if I was a young mother traveling with children.”

“I was born and raised in the army, so we got vaccinations regularly,” said Susie’s husband Bernie Miller. “So, you know, men and women that are serving overseas in the army, navy, air force, and marines also get them—so there’s a reason.”

The OHA said the two people who recently contracted the measles weren’t fully vaccinated. The disease is highly infectious.

“Measles is so contagious, you can be in a room two hours after somebody with the measles left and still get the disease,” said Clark County Health Officer Dr. Alan Melnick when KOIN 6 News spoke to him about the January 2019 outbreak.

OHA epidemiologists are working with public health staff in both counties to confirm sites where others may have been exposed. Those who were impacted by this latest round of measles were not fully vaccinated against the disease. The measles are highly infectious and spread easily from one person to another.

According to the OHA, the symptoms of measles start with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes. That is followed by a rash that typically starts on the face and then covers the rest of the body. OHA said the symptoms usually begin 1 to 3 weeks following exposure.

People who are vaccinated against the measles are considered to be protected.

Others considered immune include:

Those born before 1957
A doctor diagnosed them with measles
A blood test proves they’re immune
They’ve been fully vaccinated

The following is a list of exposure locations from the OHA:

Multnomah County
  • Saturday, Oct. 12
    • 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Portland International Airport, Delta Air Lines Inc., Flight 0179 from Amsterdam (AMS) to Portland (PDX)
Lane County
  • Monday, Oct. 21
    • 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Creswell Bakery, 182 S 2nd St, Creswell
    • Noon-4 p.m., Bier Stein, 1591 Willamette Street, Eugene
  • Wednesday, Oct 23
    • 4 -7:30 p.m., Blue Mist, 1400 Valley River Dr., Suite 130, Eugene
    • 6 – 9:30 p.m., North Fork Public House, 2805 Shadowview, Eugene
Washington County
  • Sunday, Oct. 20
    • 12:15-3:45 p.m., Wu’s Open Kitchen, 15660 SW Pacific Hwy, Tigard
    • 4:45-8:00 p.m., Costco, 25900 SW Heather Pl, Wilsonville
  • Wednesday, Oct 23
    • 1:15-3:45 p.m., Tous Les Jours, 11735 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton
    • 1:45-4:15 p.m., Starbucks inside Target, 10775 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton
Clackamas County
  • Monday, Oct. 21
    • 12:15-2:45 p.m., Trader Joe’s, 15391 SW Bangy Rd, Lake Oswego

For questions, contact your local health department:

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