Confirmed Case of Measles in an individual who traveled to The Dalles and Hood River

On Jan. 3, OHA received confirmation of a case of measles in a person who was infectious and spent time in The Dalles and Hood River between Dec. 26 and Dec. 31, according to a Hood River County Health Department press release.

As of Jan. 4, no additional cases of measles had been identified.

The individual was diagnosed Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2019, at a hospital in the Portland area; and measles was confirmed as the diagnosis on Jan. 3. OHA and local public health agencies are actively monitoring the case, said a press release.

"Measles is extremely contagious," said Trish Elliott, RN, director of the Hood River County Health Department. "It takes very high levels of vaccination in the population to stop its spread. Everyone can help by making sure they and their families are vaccinated.”

OHA is working with local public health agencies to notify individuals of their potential exposure and to inform them of steps to take should they become ill so as to prevent more cases, said a press release.

This individual traveled to the region from out of the country and followed the recommended precautions to avoid exposing others, after developing a rash.

Most measles cases in the U.S. result from international travel, according to the County Health Department; the disease is brought into the U.S. by unvaccinated people who get infected in other countries.

Most Oregonians have been vaccinated against measles, said a press release, and their risk is low. Risk may be higher for unvaccinated persons who were in these locations:

The Discovery Center, The Dalles, Dec. 29, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Fred Meyer, The Dalles, Dec. 31, 5:00-6:00 p.m.

Doppio Café, Hood River, Dec. 30, 2018 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Goodwill, Hood River, Dec. 30, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Full Sail Brewery, Hood River, Dec. 30, 1:00-2:00 p.m.

"From this exposure, we would expect symptoms in anyone newly infected to appear any time over the next week or two with a rash following initial symptoms." Elliott said.

Measles poses the highest risk to pregnant women, infants under 12 months of age and people with weakened immune systems. A person is considered immune to measles if ANY of the following apply:

  1. You were born before 1957.
  2. Your physician has diagnosed you with measles.
  3. A blood test proves that you are immune.
  4. You have been fully vaccinated against measles (two doses).

About measles

The symptoms of measles start with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a red rash that usually begins on the face 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.

Common complications of measles include ear infection, lung infection and diarrhea. Swelling of the brain is a rare, but much more serious complication. In developed countries, one or two out of every 1,000 children with measles will die from the disease, said a press release.

After someone is exposed, illness usually develops in about two weeks, sometimes longer, according to the County Health Department.

Oregon public health officials are advising anyone who believes they have symptoms of measles to first call their health care provider or urgent care center by telephone to create an entry plan to avoid exposing others in waiting rooms.

Anyone with questions about measles infection or the measles vaccine should call their primary care provider or their county health department.

For more information on measles, please visit the OHA measles webpage:

or call the public health departments in the following counties: North Central Public Health District, (Wasco, Sherman and Gilliam Counties) 541-506-2600; Hood River County Health Department, 541-386-1115.

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