UPDATED: Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, 4:30 pm
The Oregon Health Authority has confirmed a case of measles in a resident of Multnomah County that is linked to an outbreak in Clark County, WA. No additional cases have been identified in Oregon.
Most Oregonians have been vaccinated against measles, and their risk is low. Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that spreads easily to people who are not immune. It poses the highest risk to pregnant women, infants under 12 months of age and people with weakened immune systems.
Measles is a highly contagious, airborne disease caused by measles virus. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat, and is followed by a blotchy rash that starts on the face or at the hair line and then spreads all over the body. Approximately 30 percent of reported cases have one or more complications including pneumonia, ear infections, or diarrhea. Rarely, the virus causes encephalitis (brain infection). Complications are more common in young children and adults. The best protection against measles is MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine. Learn more about the MMR vaccine from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
OHA encourages physicians (and others) to maintain a high level of suspicion for measles, especially in people who have not received two doses of measles-containing vaccine. Suspect cases of measles, whether in doctors’ offices or hospitals, should be immediately separated from other patients, tested for measles and reported to the local public health authority where they live, without delay, day or night, after identification.