Measles Cases Confirmed in Portland, Oregon

Health officials in Portland, OR warn that a traveler infected with measles traveled through the area recently and many people may have been exposed.

Measles, of course, is a highly contagious disease spread by the rubeola virus, which will live and incubate in the mucus of the nose and throat.

Obviously, it can appear a bit like a cold, so it is important to be seen by a doctor if you think you may have been disposed.

However, Paul Cieslak, MD, explains in a press release: “The bad news is that measles is a serious disease, the good news is that if you’ve been vaccinated you’re well protected.’’ The Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division Medical Director for Communicable Diseases goes on to say, “This is the second time this summer that someone arrived in the Portland area sick with measles.”

While this may be the second case of the season, officials advise that this case does not appear to be connected in any way to the previous ones in Multnomah County.

Symptoms of a measles infection include fever with a cough, red eyes, and a runny nose.  This might appear at first, then, like a cold or an allergy, but it will then be followed by a red rash which typically begins in the face and then spreads to the rest of the body.  The contagious period for measles is four days before the rash appears until up to four days after the rash first appears.  All in all, illness from the disease first develops in about two weeks from initial infection.

In addition to these basic symptoms, the most common complications of a measles infection include lung infection, ear infection, and diarrhea. In rare instances, swelling of the brain may also occur but, again, this serious complication is rare.

Most importantly, about 2 out of every 1000 children who contract the virus will die from the disease. Fortunately, most adults are able to fight off the disease, especially since most adults received vaccinations as children. Still, Oregon public health officials advise that anyone who believes they have the symptoms or may have been exposed to measles should contact their primary health provider or call an urgent care clinic to come up with a plan for a future visit (in order to prevent further exposure to others).

Here are the contact numbers you need around Portland:

  • Multnomah County (503-988-3406)
  • Clackamas County (503-655-8411)
  • Washington County (503-846-3594)
  • Clark County (360-397-8182)

 

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