Multnomah County, Ore. – Measles is spreading in Oregon with two more cases reported over the weekend. This makes three cases linked to an international flight to Portland. The Oregon Health Authority has learned that a resident of Lane County and someone visiting Washington County were also on the flight from Amsterdam that landed at PDX on October 12th with an infected person on board. Because measles is highly contagious, Dr. Ann Thomas says if you believe you have measles, stay home and call your doctor first before going to the hospital. The state is working to obtain a list of all passengers on that flight. Symptoms can include fever and the common cold.
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A Lane County resident and a visitor to Washington County have been diagnosed with measles. Their illnesses are linked to an individual with the disease who passed through Portland International Airport earlier this month.
The two new cases reportedly were on the same international flight that landed in Portland on Oct. 12, as reported by Multnomah County Health Department, according to the Oregon Health Authority. OHA epidemiologists are working with public health staff in both counties to confirm sites where others may have been exposed.
None of the cases have been fully vaccinated against measles.
“Measles is a highly infectious disease, and it doesn’t take much to spread it from one person to another, particularly in the close quarters of an airline flight,” said Ann Thomas, MD, public health physician at OHA. “It’s a good reminder of how important it is to make sure all adults and children in your household are up to date on vaccines.”
Most Oregonians have been vaccinated against measles and their risk is low. Risk may be higher for unvaccinated persons who may have been exposed at one of the following locations, dates and times:
Additional exposure sites might be added as the investigation continues.
Public health officials urge people to first call a health care provider or urgent care center by telephone if:
Having an entry plan helps to avoid exposing others in waiting rooms.
People with questions about measles infection or the measles vaccine should call their primary care provider or their county health department:
Measles poses the highest risk to unvaccinated pregnant women, infants under 12 months of age, and people with weakened immune systems.
The symptoms of measles start with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash that usually begins on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. Symptoms begin 7–21 days following exposure.
Common complications of measles include ear infection, lung infection, and diarrhea. Swelling of the brain is a rare but much more serious complication.
After someone contracts measles, illness develops in about two weeks, but people can be contagious up to 4 days before they get a rash.
Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes. People are contagious once they have symptoms, which typically start about 4 days before the rash, until 4 days after the rash. The virus can also linger in the air up to two hours after someone who is infectious has left the area.
You are considered immune to measles if ANY of the following apply:
For more information on measles for the public, visit the OHA measles web page.
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There are two more cases of measles in Oregon. A resident of Lane County and a visitor to Washington County who passed through Portland International Airport two weeks ago have been diagnosed with measles. Authorities say they were on the same international flight as another passenger who had measles. Epidemiologists are working with health providers to confirm additional sites where people could have been exposed.
Click here for a list of locations: