Number of Local Measles Cases Continue to Rise: What You Need to Know
You have likely seen news about the outbreak of measles that began early this year in Vancouver, Washington. Clark County Public Health is now investigating 21 confirmed cases and 4 additional suspected cases (as of 1/21/19). All cases have been children thus far.
Measles Symptoms to Look For
Measles is a highly contagious viral respiratory illness. Individuals are contagious even before showing any symptoms and may remain contagious until 4 days after the rash appears. Symptoms include:
Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
A red, blotchy rash that starts on the face and spreads to other areas of the body (this symptom appears later)
If your child has been exposed and has symptoms of the measles, or if you are not sure about exposure but your child is exhibiting measles-like symptoms, please call our office and speak with our triage nurses before coming into the office. This will allow us to make a plan that avoids exposing other patients in the waiting room.
The providers at Pediatric Associates of the Northwest strongly recommend the MMR vaccine, which is a 2-dose series that helps protect against measles. It is safe and effective. In our office, the MMR vaccine is routinely given at the 15 month and 2 year well child visits. During active outbreaks, such as this, the timing of the MMR vaccine is adjusted and given starting at the 12 month well child visit instead.
If your child has not been vaccinated yet, please call our office for an appointment. Receiving even just the first dose of the vaccine significantly increases your child’s immunity to measles. Our triage nurses are also available over the phone for questions about measles, the vaccine, or if you suspect your child has measles.
Clackamas County Health Department- (503) 655-8411
Clark County Health Department- (360) 397-8412
Multnomah County Health Department- (503) 988-3406
Washington County Health Department- (503) 846-3594
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention- https://www.cdc.gov/measles/hcp/index.html