Important Health Information February 4, 2019

Important Health Information February 4, 2019

Please read the below health information from the Whatcom County Health Department:

February 4, 2019
There is currently an outbreak of measles in our state in Clark and King County.  As of yesterday, there are 48 confirmed cases of measles. The majority of the cases are in unvaccinated children. There are no reports of measles
in Whatcom County. We want to use this opportunity to provide you with some basic information about measles and how you can prevent it in your family and community.

General information:

  • Measles is a highly contagious and potentially serious illness caused by a virus
  • Measles is spread through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes
  • Symptoms start with a fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes followed by a rash that usually starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body
  • People are contagious 4 days before and 4 days after the rash appears
  • 90% of people close to a person with measles who are not immune will become infected
  • 2 doses of the MMR vaccine is 97% effective in protecting against measles


What you should do if think you have measles:

  • Avoid contact with others
  • Anyone who has been exposed and believes they have symptoms of measles should contact their health care provider. Call the medical office, emergency room, or urgent care clinic before going in for evaluation so arrangements can be made to have you evaluated without exposing others at the site.


What you should do to prevent measles:

  • Get vaccinated. Children should receive 2 doses of MMR vaccine, with the first dose given at age 12-15 months and a second between ages 4-6.
  • Know your immunization status. Get vaccinated if you don’t have proof of immunity from either having had measles, the vaccination, or a blood test showing immunity
  • Avoid contact. If you know someone who is ill with a fever and rash, stay away from them unless you know you are immune to the measles virus


Please note:  If you or your child become exposed to measles and you cannot prove immunity, be aware that you or your child may be excluded from school, work or other public settings for up to 21 days, following the last exposure. This action is necessary to prevent spread to other residents in our community.


For questions or more information, contact your health care provider or the Whatcom County Health Department.


Further Resources:
Measles Outbreak Toolkits
For Parents and the Public

Measles Information Flyers in Various Languages