A person known to be contagious with the measles attended a Portland Trail Blazers basketball game at the Moda Center in Portland on Jan. 11. Others in the building between 5:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m could have been exposed. This comes as Clark County and its partners work to stop an outbreak of the highly contagious disease in the Vancouver area while Oregon health officials work to identify anyone at risk of getting sick.
Clark County announced today two additional confirmed cases, bringing the current outbreak total to 19. They continue to investigate seven additional suspected cases. Follow the Clark County investigation here: https://www.clark.wa.gov/public-health/measles-investigation
So far, no Oregon residents have been diagnosed with measles as part of this outbreak. But, several people ill with measles visited businesses and other sites in the Portland area while they were contagious. That includes the MODA Center exposure and the Verizon Wireless at Cascade Station store, Monday, Jan. 14, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Find a list of Oregon exposures here: https://multco.us/health-officer/measles-outbreak-winter-2019-oregon-exposures
Measles is considered among the world’s most contagious diseases. It can linger in the air, even after a sick person has left a building. Fortunately, the measles vaccine protects well, and most Oregonians have been immunized. For most people, the risk is extremely low, even if they are exposed.
People considered immune to measles include anyone who:
- Was born before 1957
- Has had a confirmed case of measles
- Has a lab test showing immunity.
- Is up-to-date on their measles vaccine.
“Most people have little to worry about because the measles vaccine is so effective,” said Tri-County Health Officer Dr. Paul Lewis. “But, this is a good reminder that when you feel sick — even if it’s just a cold — it’s best to stay home to avoid making others ill.”
But anyone who has not had measles or been vaccinated — and that includes infants under 12 months — is at risk if they’re exposed.
If an unimmunized person has been exposed to measles and develops a fever, cold symptoms, and red eyes should call their primary care provider or their local public health authority before going to urgent care or the emergency department.
"Please call a healthcare facility first," said Lewis. "We want to keep the other people in the waiting room safe. By calling before you go, the staff can make sure a plan is ready when you arrive."
Multnomah County is working closing with the Portland Trail Blazers to direct people with concerns to the right information.