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News Release
Clark County measles case count up to 51 confirmed, 13 suspect - 02/07/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Clark County Public Health is continuing its measles outbreak investigation. Since Jan. 1, we have identified 51 confirmed cases and 13 suspect cases. Public Health has also identified two new locations where people may have been exposed to measles.

Here are the details of the confirmed cases:

  • Age
    • 1 to 10 years: 36 cases
    • 11 to 18 years: 13 cases
    • 19 to 29 years: one case
    • 30 to 39 years: one case
  • Immunization status
    • Unimmunized: 44 cases
    • Unverified: six cases
    • 1 MMR vaccine: one case
  • Hospitalization: one case (none currently)

Public Health is not providing any additional information about the one case with one dose of MMR in order to protect the patient’s privacy.

Public Health has identified a fourth suspect case that was unimmunized when exposed to measles and received the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine more than 72 hours after exposure. To prevent illness, one dose of MMR vaccine must be given to unimmunized people within 72 hours of exposure.

About 5 percent of previously unvaccinated people will develop a rash after being immunized. When administered after 72 hours, the vaccine is less likely to prevent illness, and if the person develops a rash, there is a small chance that the rash is due to the vaccine. People who experience these mild vaccine-associated rashes cannot transmit the virus to other people. 

However, in these situations, it is difficult to determine whether the rash is a benign vaccine reaction or measles illness. Specimens for this suspect case are being sent to a specialized laboratory out of state to confirm measles, but it can take more than a week to get the results. Until lab results are available, and in order to protect those who may have been exposed, Public Health is treating this suspect case as we would treat confirmed cases and releasing information about public locations the case visited while potentially contagious with measles.

To date, all lab results of confirmed cases have matched a wild strain of virus, preventable through vaccination, circulating in Eastern Europe. The vaccine strain of measles has never been transmitted person to person.

Here are the two new locations where people may have been exposed to measles:

Health care facilities:

  • The Vancouver Clinic Salmon Creek, 2525 NE 139th St., Vancouver from 2:50 to 6 pm Monday, Feb. 4.
  • Sea Mar Medical Clinic East Vancouver, 19005 SE 34th St., Vancouver from 1:50 to 5:50 pm Tuesday, Feb. 5.

Clark County Public Health is urging anyone who has been exposed at an identified location and believes they have symptoms of measles to call their health care provider prior to visiting the medical office to make a plan that avoids exposing others in the waiting room. People who believe they have symptoms of measles should not go directly to medical offices, urgent care centers or emergency departments (unless experiencing a medical emergency) without calling in advance.

For a complete list of exposure sites, visit the Public Health measles investigation webpage.

Additional resources

For information about additional exposure sites in Oregon, linked to the confirmed case in Multnomah County, visit the Oregon Health Authority measles webpage. For information about other measles cases in Washington, visit the Washington State Department of Health measles webpage.

Public Health has established a call center for questions related to the investigation. Anyone who has questions about public exposures should call 360.397.8021. The call center is open daily.

Anyone with questions about their measles immunity or the measles vaccine should contact their primary care provider. Clark County Public Health does not provide immunizations or testing for immunity.

If you are unsure of your family's immunization status, you can view, download and print your family's immunization information online at MyIR or request a copy of your immunization record from the Washington State Department of Health.

View more news releases from Clark Co. WA Communications.