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Multnomah County Health officials confirm second case of measles

Cropped Photo: UCSF School of Medicine

PORTLAND, Ore. – Multnomah County health officials confirmed a second case of measles Friday.

Officials say the second person had been in close contact with the first person who was diagnosed with measles on Wednesday, June 27.

Multnomah County Communicable Disease Services notified the second person of their exposure to make sure the person stayed home and away from others. The person remained in daily contact with Multnomah County’s health team to check for symptoms.

“This individual did exactly the right thing,” said Dr. Jennifer Vines, Multnomah County’s deputy health officer. “When this person began having symptoms, they called us immediately. And we worked together to get the individual health care in a way that did not expose anyone else to the virus. This is how we stop outbreaks.”

The case diagnosed in the Portland metro area on June 27 was the first since 2014.

The first person diagnosed spent time in a Gresham child care center and visited the Adventist Health Portland emergency room. Officials believe this person was infected with measles while travelling outside the country, although they were vaccinated.

The most recent person diagnosed with measles did not have documentation of prior immunizations.

The Multnomah County Health Department notified individuals of their possible exposure and offered a just-in-time vaccination to some of the exposed people.

They say about 500 people were exposed.

A team of nurses and epidemiologists continue to check in daily with about 40 people who are exposed and considered non-immune.

Officials expect that anyone who is infected will start showing symptoms by mid-July at the latest.

The people with the greatest risk of catching measles are those who are not vaccinated, pregnant women, infants under 12 months and people with weakened immune systems.

A person is considered immune to measles if they were born before 1957, had the measles previously, or have been fully vaccinated for measles.

Measles symptoms start with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes followed by a red rash that usually begins at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. People are contagious with measles for four days before the rash appears and up to four days after the rash appears.

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