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State and county officials share measles prevention information

By Philip Denman, March 6, 2019

Following a rash of measles cases in Southwest Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee declared a public health emergency in all counties on Jan. 25. According to the Washington State Department of Health, there are currently 70 confirmed cases in Clark County and 1 case in King County.

Measles is caused by a virus and spreads very easily when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. It spreads so easily that someone who is not protected (either by being immunized or having had measles in the past) can get it if they walk into a room where someone with the disease has been in the past couple of hours.

While there are no cases reported at Green River College at this time, health officials are emphasizing the importance of vaccinations and education.

Below are recommendations from the King County Department of Public Health:

King County Public Health Logo

What to Do If You Think You Have Measles

Symptoms of Measles and How It Spreads

  • Measles often begins with a high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. After 3-5 days, a rash usually begins on the face and spreads to other parts of the body.
  • You can catch measles from an infected person as early as 4 days before they have a rash and for up to 4 days after the rash appears.
  • You can get measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been. The measles virus stays in the air for up to two hours after that person has left the room.

Call Your Doctor or Clinic Right Away If You See Symptoms

  • Your doctor or clinic will let you know if you need to come in for visit.
  • Measles is very contagious and you could give it to someone in a waiting room. It’s important to tell your doctor or clinic that you have symptoms of measles before you go. They will give you instructions for what to do so that you don’t spread measles.

Stay At Home If You Have Measles

  • It’s important not to spread measles to others.
  • Stay at home if you have measles. Don’t go to school, work, to the store, or other people’s homes.
  • Don’t have visitors to you home if you or your child have a fever or rash.

How to Stay Informed

Anyone with questions about measles infection or the measles vaccine should call their primary care provider or their local health department:

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