County conducts measles investigation
Marion County health officials announced that the county is conducting a measles virus investigation that involves Woodburn residents.
On Friday, Jan. 18, a Marion County Health and Human Services alert said some residents from the Woodburn area were exposed to measles in Washington State, and public health officials are monitoring that exposure and offering advice to prevent the virus from spreading.
Public Health Division Director Katrina Rothenberger stressed that there are no confirmed measles cases within the county, but the virus can spread quickly form person to person. An infected person can spread measles from four days before to four days after the rash appears. The virus can live up to two hours in an airspace where an infected person coughed or sneezed.
Rothenberger said many Oregonians are vaccinated for the measles, and the general risk to the community is low. County sources note that persons are considered immune and not susceptible under the following circumstances:
They were born before 1957;
They are certain they have had measles;
They are up to date on measles vaccines (one dose for children 12 months through 3 years old, two doses for school children, adolescents, college students, and adults who work in health care; one dose for other adults);
Laboratory testing shows they have antibodies to measles.
People who have not been vaccinated, health-care workers and travelers to areas where measles is prevalent are considered at risk for measles. The virus is most severe for infants and children under age 5, pregnant women, people over the age of 20, and people with limited immune systems.
Anyone with symptoms, such as fever and rashes, should contact their health care provider in advance to arrange to be seen where other patients will not be exposed.
Measles symptoms often begin with fever, cough, a runny nose and red, watery eyes;
A rash breaks out three to five days after symptoms begin. The rash usually begins on the face and then spreads over the entire body;
A person's fever may spike to more than 104° F. After a few days, the rash and fever begin to go away;
Symptoms usually begin seven to 14 days after exposure. However, signs of illness may occur as early as eight days or as late as 18 days after exposure.
For information about measles visit the Marion County website. Contact Marion County Public Health Division at (503) 588-5621.