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Two new measles cases linked to PDX exposure

Lane, Washington, and Clackamas Counties all have exposure sites related to the new measles cases.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is reporting two people have been diagnosed with measles after being exposed to the illness on an international flight that landed at Portland International Airport.

Health officials say a Lane County resident and a visitor to Washington County have been diagnosed with the illness. Neither of these individuals had been fully vaccinated against measles.

The two new cases were reportedly on the same international flight as another person already diagnosed with measles and reported by the Multnomah County Health Department. 

READ: Person with measles may have exposed others at Portland International Airport

The flight landed in Portland on Oct. 12. The previously diagnosed individual had recently spent time in countries where measles is common and had not been immunized against the virus.

 OHA epidemiologists are working with public health staff in both counties to confirm sites where others may have been exposed.

“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:

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 pm, Bier Stein, 1591 Willamette Street, Eugene

Wednesday, Oct. 23

  • 4-7:00 p.m., Blue Mist, 1400 Valley River Dr., Suite 130, Eugene
  • 6-9:00 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, Willsonville

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

Additional exposure sites might be added as the investigation continues.

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. Symptoms begin 7–21 days following exposure.

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 up to 4 days before they get a rash.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes. People are contagious once they have symptoms, which typically start about 4 days before the rash, until 4 days after the rash. The virus can also linger in the air up to two hours after someone who is infectious has left the area.

You are 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 had 2 doses of measles vaccine.

READ: Measles cases in Europe double in 'dramatic resurgence'