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Clark County measles cases rise to 73 confirmed; two more suspected

Measles and tetanus vaccine vials are ready to be administered at the Dallas County Health & Human Services immunization clinic in Dallas, Texas on Friday, March 8, 2019. Clark County Public Health has confirmed one new measles case, increasing its case count to 73. Two suspected cases have also been identified, but there are no new exposure locations. (Vernon Bryant / AP)
Measles and tetanus vaccine vials are ready to be administered at the Dallas County Health & Human Services immunization clinic in Dallas, Texas on Friday, March 8, 2019. Clark County Public Health has confirmed one new measles case, increasing its case count to 73. Two suspected cases have also been identified, but there are no new exposure locations. (Vernon Bryant / AP)
By Wyatt Stayner The Columbian

Clark County Public Health has confirmed one new measles case, increasing its case count to 73. Two suspected cases have also been identified, but there are no new exposure locations.

For a complete list of exposure sites, visit our measles exposure site web page. The last time confirmed case was announced March 13.

Anyone with questions about measles infections or exposures should call their primary provider or Public Health at 360-397-8182.

Of the 73 confirmed cases since Jan. 1, 53 involve children younger than 11. There are 15 cases between the ages of 11 and 18, one between the ages of 19 and 29, and four between the ages of 30 and 39.

In 63 cases, patients were not immunized; seven others have an unverified vaccination status. In three cases, patients had received one of the two recommended doses of the vaccine.

For more information on the outbreak, visit Clark County Public Health’s measles investigation webpage.

What to do if you might be infected

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 90 percent of unvaccinated people exposed to the measles virus come down with the disease. The virus lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person, and can survive for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed.

Health officials are urging anyone who has been exposed at an identified location and believes they have symptoms of measles to call their health care provider prior to visiting the medical office to make a plan that avoids exposing others in the waiting room.

If you are unsure of your family’s immunization status, you can view, download and print your family’s immunization information online at wa.MyIR.net or request a copy of your immunization record from the Washington State Department of Health.

Clark County Public Health has been regularly updating its list of locations where people may have been exposed to measles. There are dozens of locations in total, including hospitals, Portland International Airport and multiple schools.

For a complete list of exposure sites, visit the Public Health measles investigation webpage at www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/Measles/MeaslesOutbreak.

Measles symptoms begin with a high 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. A person can spread the virus before they show symptoms.

People are contagious with measles for up to four days before and up to four days after the rash appears. After someone is exposed to measles, illness develops in about one to three weeks.

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