A case of measles reported in Multnomah County last week appears to have spread across the Columbia River.
Clark County Public Health is investigating what it says is a “potential” case of measles in a young child — even though the child is up to date on immunizations.
Dr. Rachel Wood says one measles vaccine dose is 93 percent effective, and the recommended two doses are 97 percent effective.
But Wood said nothing is 100 percent effective and health authorities are on the look out for any possible measles outbreak. “Measles symptoms generally appear seven to 21 days after a person is exposed. So we will be keeping an eye out for at least 21 days after the end of the contagious period for this child,” she said.
The unidentified child was suffering from measles-like symptoms, including fever and a rash. The child was exposed to an individual later confirmed to have measles in Multnomah County.
Clark County is warning people who visited the JC Penney in Vancouver on June 27th, or the Ross Dress For Less and the Svitoch store on the 28th, that they may have been exposed to the disease.
Measles is highly contagious and potentially serious. It’s spread through the air when a person with measles coughs or sneezes.
A person can spread the virus before they show symptoms, and the virus can linger in the air.
Measles poses the highest risk to people who have not been vaccinated, pregnant women, infants younger than 12 months and people with weakened immune systems.
Persons are likely immune if they were born before 1957, if they’re certain they’ve had measles or they’re up to date on measles vaccines.
Measles symptoms begin with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash that usually begins at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.
Common complications of measles include ear infection, lung infection and diarrhea. For every 1,000 children with measles, one or two will die.