Health Officials Encourage the Public to Become Educated on Vaccine Preventable Illness
Contact: Mardi Ford
Union County residents can protect themselves and the community by getting vaccinated.
No measles cases have been identified in Union County, but a large measles outbreak being investigated in Clark County, WA has now spread to Oregon. As of January 31, 2019 Clark County has identified 41 confirmed cases and 15 suspect cases, and the Oregon Health Authority confirmed one measles case in Multnomah and two exposure sites in Bend, Oregon.
If You Suspect You Have Measles
- Call First! Local health officials ask anyone who thinks they have been exposed or believe they have measles symptoms to call their health care provider prior to visiting the medical office to make a plan that avoids exposing others in the waiting room. People who believe they have symptoms of measles should not go directly to medical offices, urgent care centers or emergency departments (unless experiencing a medical emergency) without calling in advance.
- Get Vaccinated! Measles is highly preventable and the best protection is the highly effective MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine. You can get the MMR vaccine from your health care provider or at the Center for Human Development. Call CHD to schedule an appointment (541-962-8800) or visit us during our drop-in hours every Friday from 8am-3pm.
Anyone with questions about measles immunity or the measles vaccine should contact their primary care provider. 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).
Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat, and is followed by a blotchy rash that starts on the face or at the hair line and then spreads all over the body. Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth. People are contagious with measles for four days before the rash appears and up to four days after the rash appears. After someone is exposed to measles, illness develops in about one to three weeks. The virus can also linger in the air for up to two hours after someone who is infectious has left.
Approximately 30 percent of reported cases have one or more complications including pneumonia, ear infections, or diarrhea. Swelling of the brain (encephalitis) is a rare but much more serious complication. Complications are more common in young children and adults. Measles poses the highest risk to unvaccinated pregnant women, infants under 12 months of age, and people with weakened immune systems.
Follow Oregon's measles investigation through the Oregon Health Authority https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Pages/measles.aspx
Follow Washington State's measles investigation through the Department of Health https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/Measles/MeaslesOutbreak
CHD Press Release Contact: George Thompson, Center for Human Development Community Relations Coordinator