King County public-health officials announced two more confirmed measles cases on Wednesday, bringing the total to 12 cases in Western Washington since an outbreak was declared in May.
A teenager and infant are the most recent county residents to contract the disease. Both had household contact with a person who had previously been diagnosed with measles, according to a statement from Public Health — Seattle & King County.
Officials don’t think the infant exposed the public to the disease. The teenager was at Auburn Community Center while contagious July 6, and officials say people who were there from 2 to 11 p.m. that day may have been exposed.
The new cases bring the total to 10 measles cases in the county this year, nine of which have been declared since a regional outbreak began May 9.
Washington has seen 84 measles cases this year, or about 7.5% of the 1,109 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 United States 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.
People who believe they may have been exposed should call a health-care provider. To prevent spreading the virus, patients should call to discuss being evaluated instead of just walking in.
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.
A full list of exposure sites in King County can be found on Public Health’s website at kingcounty.gov/health.