King County public health officials announced another confirmed case of measles on Friday and warned that anyone who visited Seattle Children’s emergency room or a Fred Meyer in Kent on certain days may have been exposed.
The child who was recently diagnosed is the eighth resident in King County to contract measles since the beginning of the year, according to Public Health – Seattle & King County. The case is the 10th in Western Washington since an outbreak was declared in May.
The child was at a Fred Meyer in Kent last week and at Seattle Children’s twice this week before being diagnosed, according to Public Health. Seattle Children’s says they are notifying visitors and patients who may have been exposed.
Officials say anyone who visited the following locations during the times listed could have been exposed to measles:
- Fred Meyer at 25250 Pacific Highway South in Kent on June 19 from 6:45 to 9:45 p.m.
- Seattle Children’s Emergency Department on June 23 from 12:45 to 2:45 a.m.
- Seattle Children’s Emergency Department on June 26 from 2:30 to 4:30 a.m. and 1:10 to 3:10 p.m.
Health officials are still working to determine the source of the child’s measles and whether this case is connected to others in the area. Last month, an infant was diagnosed with measles after she was brought to Seattle Children’s emergency department.
The Western Washington measles outbreak began on May 9, with residents of Pierce, King and Snohomish counties diagnosed after spending time at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
This year, Washington has had 82 cases, or about 8% of the 1,077 cases reported in the United States, which prompted state lawmakers to ban exemptions to the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine except for religious or medical reasons. Most of the state’s cases were from a Clark County outbreak earlier this year.
This year, the U.S. has seen the most cases since 1992 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Measles, which can cause fever, rash and red, watery eyes, is highly contagious and spreads quickly through the air after a cough or sneeze. The virus can remain in the air for up to two hours after someone with the virus leaves the area.
Symptoms may appear starting from seven days after the first exposure to 21 days after the last exposure, according to the state health department. A rash typically appears 10 to 12 days after exposure.
Two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In some cases, people can get the vaccine after being exposed.
People who believe they may have been exposed should call a health care provider. This is especially important for children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems, who have high risk of complications from measles, according to Public Health. To prevent spreading the virus, patients should call to discuss being evaluated instead of just walking in.
A full list of exposure sites in King County can be found on Public Health’s website at kingcounty.gov/health.