A person with measles traveled to Sea-Tac Airport and visited several public areas in Snohomish and King counties while contagious, according to a press release from the Washington State Department of Health.
Most people in Washington state are immune to measles, so public risk is low except for people who are not vaccinated. People who haven’t been vaccinated or aren’t sure if they’re immune should ask a health care professional for advice.
Public health officials say an out-of-state, unimmunized woman in her 20s became contagious with measles on December 28, 2014 after visiting Disneyland in southern CA in December. The visit was during a time when others who later got measles were at the park. Measles is highly contagious and can cause severe illness with rash, fever, cough, eye irritation, and can be fatal.
The contagious traveler flew from Orange County, Calif. to Sea-Tac on Dec. 29 and flew out of Sea-Tac airport on Jan. 3 to return home. She stayed with family in Snohomish County.
Anyone who was in one of the following locations during the indicated times may have been exposed to measles:
12/29-12/30/2014 at Sea-Tac Airport
- 10:30 pm on 12/29 to 2 am on 12/30, Main terminal baggage claim
- 12 am to 2:45 am on 12/30, Sea-Tac Rental Car Facility
1/3/2015 at Sea-Tac Airport
- 5:30 am to 7:30 am, Sea-Tac Rental Car Facility
12/30/2014, 1 – 3 am at Dicks Drive-In, 115 Broadway Ave. East, Seattle
12/30/14, 1-7 pm at Bethany at Pacific (Elevator, 3rd-5th floors), 916 Pacific Avenue, Everett
12/30/14, 8 pm-12 am at Anthony’s Home Port in Edmonds, 456 Admiral Way, Edmonds
1/1/15, 2:45 -6:30 pm at Swedish Edmonds Emergency Room, 21601 76th Ave. W., Edmonds
After returning home to California, the traveler got medical attention and was diagnosed with measles on Jan. 8; she was infectious beginning on Dec. 28. Health authorities in Washington and at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were notified. The CDC is following-up to notify those on the same flights as the contagious traveler.
Anyone who was in those locations at the listed times should find out if they have been vaccinated for measles or have had measles previously. People who are unvaccinated, aren’t sure if they’re immune, and develop an illness with fever or unexplained rash should consult a health care professional immediately. Public health officials urge them to call ahead to their clinic, doctor’s office, or emergency room before arriving so people in waiting rooms aren’t exposed.
Measles is highly contagious even before the rash starts, and is easily spread when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. If you’re not vaccinated, you can get the measles just by walking into a room where someone with the disease has been in the past couple of hours.
Children should be vaccinated with two doses of measles, mumps, rubella vaccine, with the first dose between 12 and 15 months and the second at four-to-six years. Adults should have at least one measles vaccination; some people need two. The state Department of Health immunization program has online information about measles and measles vaccine.