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News Release
UPDATED: Health officials confirm measles in Clackamas County household - 06/17/24

This is a corrected version of a press release sent this morning.

June 17, 2024

Media Contacts: Jonathan Modie, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

Health officials confirm measles in Clackamas County household

Two people believed to have been exposed in Marion County between May 19, June 4

PORTLAND, Ore.—Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and county public health officials are investigating two cases of measles in a single Clackamas County household.

One household member, an unvaccinated adult, was confirmed to have measles Friday, June 14. The individual developed a rash June 11. While the time range of the exposure is believed to be between May 19 and June 4, the specific location of the exposure, which occurred in Marion County, is unknown, suggesting there may be other, unreported measles cases in Oregon.

The second household member, an unvaccinated child, developed symptoms a few days later. Both individuals are recovering.

“Spreading measles from one person to another is pretty easy, as it’s a highly infectious disease,” said Paul R. Cieslak, M.D., medical director for communicable diseases and immunizations at OHA’s Public Health Division. “That’s why it’s extremely important that all adults and children in their household be up to date on vaccinations.”

“Adults of any age born during or after 1957 can still be vaccinated,” added Cieslak.

People might have been exposed if they were in any of these areas during these times:

  • Oregon Health & Science University facilities:
    • OHSU Immediate Care Richmond Clinic, between 4:40 p.m. and 5:40 p.m. Wednesday, June 12.
    • OHSU Hospital Emergency Department, between 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, and 7:15 p.m. Friday, June 14 (risk at this location is believed to be low because the patient was masked and airborne precautions were promptly implemented).

How measles spreads and symptoms

Measles spreads through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes. People are contagious with measles for four days before a rash appears and up to four days afterward. The virus particles can also linger in the air for up to two hours after someone who is infectious has left the area.

Measles typically starts with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes. A rash usually follows, beginning on the face and spreading to the rest of the body. Symptoms begin seven to 21 days after exposure to a person with measles. Common complications of measles include ear infection, lung infection and diarrhea. Swelling of the brain is a rare but much more serious complication. In developed countries in recent years, one or two out of every 1,000 measles cases has been fatal.

Determining your risk of measles

Most Oregonians have been vaccinated to prevent measles, usually as children. Anyone who has received a measles vaccination at any time in their life has a low risk of getting measles. Risk is much higher for anyone who has not received measles vaccination who may have been exposed to the disease.

Measles poses the highest risk to:

  1. Unvaccinated pregnant people.
  2. Infants younger than 1 year old.
  3. People with weakened immune systems.

You are considered immune to measles if any of the following apply:

  • You were born before 1957.
  • You’ve been diagnosed with measles at any point in your life.
  • A blood test proves that you are immune.
  • You have had two doses of measles vaccine.

What to do if you suspect measles in your household

Public health officials urge people experiencing symptoms of measles not to arrive unannounced at a medical office if they:

  1. Have a measles-like rash, or
  2. Have been exposed to measles within the previous 21 days, AND
  3. Have any other symptom of measles (such as fever, cough or red eyes).

Individuals planning to seek medical care should first call a health care provider or urgent care center by telephone to create an entry plan to avoid exposing others in waiting rooms.

Learn more about measles at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Pages/measles.aspx.

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