A third person in Multnomah County has measles as part of a small outbreak that started last month. The county health department notified the public Friday of the newest case.
A child in Clark County is also suspected to have contracted measles from exposure to one of the three Multnomah County cases.
At the end of June, someone who travelled outside the U.S. visited a Portland emergency room where it was confirmed that person had measles.
County public health officials then notified anyone who might have come in contact with the infected person to offer vaccines and ask them to stay away from others. About 500 people were notified, but only 40 were thought to be in danger.
Of those 40, most are now outside the window where they would show symptoms if infected. However, eight people who are not immunized are still possible carriers.
The original carrier had vaccination records. Vaccines are most effective when a vast majority of people in area are also vaccinated. U.S. outbreaks of the virus often occur in people who travel to places with lower levels of vaccination.
The second and third people who caught measles were not vaccinated. The second person spent time with the first person during the time that person was infectious.
When they tested positive for measles, they agreed to stay home to avoid infecting others. However, the second person had been in daily contact with the latest person to test positive.
Public health officials said that the child in Clark County likely caught measles from the first person. That person had spent significant time at a Gresham child care center.
Clark County officials then warned people who might have been in three retail locations during a time when they might have been exposed to the virus. Friday, officials added a fourth location. Those four locations are:
- 10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 3 in the Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Office, 2121 NE 139th St. in Vancouver. That includes any lobbies, stairwells and elevators.
- Between 2 and 5 p.m. June 27 at JC Penney, 19005 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd. in Vancouver.
- Between noon and 3 p.m. June 28 at Ross Dress for Less, 4708 N.E. Thurston Way in Vancouver.
- Between noon and 3 p.m. June 28 at Svitoch, 4804 N.E. Thurston Way in Vancouver.
The virus can spread through the air when someone sneezes or coughs, and can remain in the air after an infected person leaves, the health department said. Symptoms include coughing, fever, runny nose and a rash that typically appears first on the head and spreads to the rest of the body.
The virus can lead to ear and lung infections, diarrhea and possibly brain swelling if it isn’t treated.
If you think you are infected, call a doctor or emergency room first before visiting to avoid exposing people in the waiting room to the virus. Questions about the virus can be referred to local county health departments.
- Multnomah County (503-988-3406)
- Clackamas County (503-655-8411)
- Washington County (503-846-3594)
- Clark County (360-397-8182)
— Molly Harbarger