Washington officials say 25 measles cases have been confirmed
Clark County officials declared a public health emergency Friday evening, Jan. 18, as a measles outbreak continued to spread.
Clark County Council Chair Eileen Quiring said the declaration was necessary to ensure that the public health agency has adequate resources to continue its response to the outbreak that began in early January.
Washington health officials said that 25 cases of measles have been confirmed, and seven other cases are suspected. A majority of the cases were in children — 24 of the cases were in children. One adult case has been confirmed.
Officials said 18 of the cases were in children who had not been immunized against the contagious disease. Only one person was hospitalized.
On Jan. 18, health officials in both Clark and Multnomah counties warned that people who attended the Jan. 11 Portland Trail Blazers game at Moda Center could have been exposed to the illness. That same day, someone infected with measles also was in the Cascades Parkway Ikea store. An infected person also was at the Verizon Wireless store at Cascade Station in Portland.
No cases of the disease have been reported in Oregon.
The first Clark County measles cases were discovered on Jan. 4. Three days later, two more cases were confirmed in children who traveled through Portland International Airport. By Jan. 8, 11 more cases were reported in the county.
Clark County officials said people could have been exposed at several locations in Vancouver, and at Randall Children's Hospital (Jan. 12) at Legacy Emanuel Emergency Department in North Portland; PDX (Jan. 7), Concourse D and the Delta Sky Lounge; Costco (Jan. 8), 4849 N.E. 138th Ave., Portland; Amazon Lockers (Jan. 10), 1131 S.W. Jefferson St., Portland; and, at Rejuvenation (Jan. 10), 1100 S.E. Grand Ave., Portland.
"Most Oregonians have been vaccinated against measles and their risk is low," said Dr. Paul Cieslak, medical director for Communicable Diseases for the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division. "Most measles cases in the U.S. result from international travel; the disease is brought into the U.S. by unvaccinated people who get infected in other countries."
"Measles spreads so easily," said Tri-County Health Officer Dr. Paul Lewis. "Someone could have come and gone from a waiting room, and a person coming in an hour later could still be exposed."