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Health Alert: Measles Case Confirmed in Pierce County

A Pierce County man in his 40s has been diagnosed with measles. It is unclear where this patient was exposed to the virus. The onset of his rash was May 11, so he was exposed sometime between Apr. 19 and May 1. Exposures in the community as a result of this case occurred between May 6 and May 11. We would expect cases from these exposures to occur between May 13 and May 31, 2019. See list of community exposures in Pierce County at the end of advisory. 

There are large outbreaks of measles elsewhere in the United States and in Asia and Europe. For U.S. locations, see https://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html

Actions Requested: 

Be vigilant for signs and symptoms of measles:

  • 2-4-day prodrome of fever, cough, coryza and conjunctivitis. Patients with measles are usually very ill.
  • Prodrome is followed by maculopapular rash that starts on head or face and spreads downward.
  • Koplik spots, small red spots on grayish base on oral mucosa may or may not be detected. 

Please use the matrix to evaluate if persons should be tested for measles and which specimens to collect. We will facilitate testing at the Washington State Public Health Lab. 

Report Immediately: If you suspect measles, call the public health authority in patient’s county of residence. You can reach Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department 24/7 at (253) 798-6410. 

Isolate: Measles is highly contagious. To prevent exposure to other patients, isolate patient with suspected measles immediately.

  • Instruct reception/phone/triage staff to identify patients who present with symptoms of possible measles, so that a plan can be made for the patient to come through a back door wearing a mask, or possibly be seen outside away from other patients.
  • Room patient immediately and close the door. Do not use the room until 2 hours after patient leaves.
  • Ensure that staff with contact to the patient have documented immunity to measles.

Immunize: Your strong recommendation and offer of vaccine is the #1 reason patients accept vaccines for their children and themselves.

  • Take every opportunity to vaccinate, especially children > 12 months old.
  • Infants age 6-11 months traveling to countries where measles is common should receive an MMR. This will not count towards their lifetime requirement for immunity.
  • Parents who have delayed or refused vaccines for their children may be reconsidering vaccines at this time. Offer vaccines again to persons who have previously declined.
  • Consider recalling children who are late or who have deferred MMR with a written warning that the risk of disease is now elevated and reinforcing your strong recommendation to vaccinate.

Information for patients:

Direct patients to www.tpchd.org/measles for more information. 

Locations of potential exposure:

  • Monday, May 6, 5-7:15 p.m.—Orting Transmission, 130 Corrin Ct. NW., Orting.
  • Monday, May 6, 6-10p.m.—Orting City Planning Meeting at Orting High School, 320 Washington Ave. N., Orting.
  • Tuesday, May 7, 2019 5-8 p.m.—Orting Transmission, 130 Corrin Ct. NW., Orting.
  • Tuesday, May 7, 7:30-10 p.m.—Orting Junior Dance Team Banquet at Orting High School, 320 Washington Ave. N. Orting.
  • Thursday, May 9, 4-7:30 p.m.—Discount Tire, 19815 S. Prairie Rd. E., Bonney Lake.
  • Thursday, May 9, 6-9:30 p.m.—Skookum Archery, 11209 Shaw Rd. E., Puyallup.
  • Friday, May 10, 3:15-5:45 p.m. and 6:30-9 p.m.—Orting Transmission, 130 Corrin Ct. NW., Orting.
  • Saturday, May 11, 8-10:30 a.m.—Sound Family Medicine Bonney Lake Walk-in Clinic, 10004 204 Ave., Bonney Lake.

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