PORTLAND, Ore. — Health officials in Multnomah County said Sunday they're investigating a new potential case of measles, which if confirmed would be the fifth among Multnomah County residents.
They also revealed two new possible exposure sites, including Portland International Airport and Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel emergency department.
The prior four confirmed cases in Multnomah County were all linked to the outbreak in Clark County, Washington, where there have been 65 total cases of confirmed measles. But health officials said they've found no connection between the new case, identified on February 23, and the Clark County outbreak.
“We are notifying people who were potentially exposed out of an abundance of caution,” said Dr. Jennifer Vines, Multnomah County deputy health officer. “The good news is that measles is not spreading from Clark County to the Portland metro area.”
The two new exposure sites are the Portland International Airport, on Tuesday, February 19, from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; and Randall Children's Hospital at the Legacy Emanuel emergency department, from Tuesday, February 19 at 10:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 20.
Oregon Health Authority has released the following exposure sites:
- Portland International Airport
- Tuesday, Feb. 19, 9 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
- Randall Children's Hospital, Legacy Emanuel emergency department
- Tuesday, Feb.19, 10:30 p.m. to Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2:30 a.m.
- Legacy GoHealth, 22262 NE Glisan St, Gresham
- Sunday, Jan. 20, 9–11:30 a.m.
- Fred Meyer, 22855 NE Parklane, Wood Village
- Sunday, Jan. 20, 11 a.m.–12 p.m.
- Gresham Troutdale Family Medical Center, 1700 SW 257th Dr., Troutdale
- Wednesday, Jan. 23, 12:30–2 p.m.
- Walgreens Pharmacy, 25699 SE Stark St, Troutdalle
- Wednesday, Jan. 23, 1–2:30 p.m.
Health officials say anyone who is not immune, and was exposed or believes they may have symptoms of measles should call their health care provider prior to visiting a medical office.
OHA is working with Multnomah County, and other Oregon and Washington agencies, to notify individuals of their potential exposure and help them take steps to prevent exposing others should they become ill.
Measles symptoms begin with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash that usually begins at the head and spreads to the rest of the body, according to health officials.
Measles is a highly contagious and potentially serious illness. People with measles can spread the virus before they show symptoms. It is spread through the air when a person with measles coughs or sneezes.
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The people at the highest risk are those who haven't been vaccinated, pregnant women, infants 12 months or younger or people with weakened immune systems.
Anyone with questions about measles infection or vaccination should call their primary care provider or local county health department:
- Clark County Public Health, 360-397-8021
- Multnomah County Public Health, 503-988-3406
- Washington County Public Health, 503-846-3594
- Clackamas County Public Health, 503-655-8411
Most Oregonians, and 96 percent of school-age students, have immunity to measles because they've received the vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella, known as the MMR.
Oregon Health Authority said the measles threat has resulted in an increase in vaccinations. The number of measles vaccines given out in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties tripled in January compared to the same time last year, from 200 per day in 2018 to 600 per day this year.
"This outbreak has put people at real risk," Ann Thomas, public health physician at the Oregon Health Authority, said. "It has also raised an awareness that measles could easily make a comeback, and the only way to prevent that is to get as many people vaccinated as possible."