Two new cases of measles from Multnomah County exposure

October 28, 2019

A Lane County resident and a visitor to Washington County have been diagnosed with measles. Their illnesses are linked to an individual with the virus who passed through Portland International Airport earlier this month. This is the fifth measles outbreak in Oregon so far this year.

The Oregon Health Authority reports the two people flew on the same international flight from Amsterdam, arriving Oct. 12. OHA epidemiologists are working with public health staff in both counties to confirm locations where others may have been exposed.

None of the cases have been fully vaccinated against measles.

“Measles is a highly infectious disease, and it doesn’t take much to spread it from one person to another, particularly in the close quarters of an airline flight,” said Ann Thomas, MD, public health physician at OHA. “It’s a good reminder of how important it is to make sure all adults and children in your household are up to date on vaccines.”

Exposure locations

Most Oregonians have been vaccinated against measles and their risk is low. Risk may be higher for unvaccinated persons who may have been exposed at one of the following locations, dates and times:

Tri-County area

Portland International Airport, Delta Flight 0179 from Amsterdam, Oct. 12, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Wu’s Open Kitchen, 15660 SW Pacific Hwy, Tigard, Sunday, Oct. 20 from 12:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Costco, 25900 SW Heather Pl., Wilsonville, Sunday, Oct. 20, from 4:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Trader Joe’s, 15391 SW Bangy Rd, Lake Oswego, Monday, Oct. 21, from 12:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Tous Les Jours, 11735 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, Wednesday, Oct. 23 from 1:15 p.m. 3:45 p.m.,

Starbucks inside Target, 10775 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, Wednesday, Oct 23. from 1:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Lane County

Creswell Bakery, 182 S 2nd St., Creswell, Monday, Oct. 21 from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.,

Bier Stein, 1591 Willamette St., Eugene, Monday, Oct. 21 from Noon to 4 p.m., 

Blu Mist, 1400 Valley River Dr., Suite 130, Eugene, Wednesday, Oct. 23, from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., 

North Fork Public House, 2805 Shadowview, Eugene, Wednesday, Oct. 23, from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., 

Additional exposure sites might be added as the investigation continues.

Whom to call

Public health officials urge people to first call a health care provider or urgent care center by telephone if:

They have been exposed within the previous 21 days, AND

They have symptoms of measles (such as fever, cough, red eyes or rash).

Having an entry plan helps avoid exposing others in waiting rooms.

People with questions about measles infection or the measles vaccine should call their primary care provider or their county health department:

  • Multnomah County Public Health, 503-988-3406
  • Lane County Public Health, 541-682-4041
  • Washington County Public Health, 503-846-3594
  • Clackamas County Public Health, 503-655-8411

About measles

Measles poses the highest risk to unvaccinated pregnant women, infants under 12 months of age, and people with weakened immune systems.

The symptoms of measles start with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash that usually begins on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.

Common complications of measles include ear infection, lung infection, and diarrhea. Swelling of the brain is a rare but much more serious complication.

After someone contracts measles, illness develops in about two weeks, but people can be contagious days before they know they’re sick.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes. People are contagious with measles for four days before the rash appears and up to four days after the rash appears. The virus can also linger in the air for up to two hours after someone who is infectious has left.

A person is considered immune to measles if ANY of the following apply:

  • You were born before 1957.
  • Your physician has diagnosed you with measles.
  • A blood test proves that you are immune.
  • You have been fully vaccinated against measles (one dose for children 12 months through 3 years old, two doses in anyone 4 years and older).