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April 2, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Measles exposure reported in Seattle, Tacoma, elsewhere

A Whatcom County woman with a confirmed diagnosis of measles may have exposed people in several Western Washington locations, including Seattle, while she was contagious in late March, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

Measles is uncommon in Western Washington because most people have been vaccinated, however for those who are not immune, the virus is highly contagious and in rare cases fatal. People who aren’t immune can get the measles just by walking into a room where someone with the disease has been in the past few hours, public-health officials said.

The woman, who is in her 20s, became contagious with measles March 26 after visiting local family members with measles linked to an outbreak in British Columbia.

She traveled to Seattle for a Kings of Leon concert at Key Arena March 28. That same day she was also at the Best Western Loyal Inn and the Wasabi Bistro, and the next day she went to Beth’s Cafe, Aurora Suzuki, Starbucks at First Avenue and Pike Street and Pike Place Market.

On those same dates she went to several Pierce County locations, including LeMay Car Museum and Harmon Brewing Company. A complete list of the locations and times of potential public exposure are available online.

Anyone who was in those locations at the listed times, who is unvaccinated, who isn’t sure if he or she is immune or who develops an illness with fever or an unexplained rash should consult a health-care professional immediately.

The woman’s diagnosis was traced to an outbreak of measles in the Fraser Valley, B.C., just north of the U.S.-Canada border. The majority of the cases in British Columbia are related to a private school that has a high number of unvaccinated children, according to a Whatcom County news release.

A case in San Juan County has been confirmed, and health officials are working to contact anyone who may have been exposed. A traveler from California passed through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on March 21 and 22 while contagious.

Comments | More in Health | Topics: measles, Washington State Department of Health


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