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State confirms Deschutes County measles exposure

KTVZ

The Oregon Health Authority has confirmed a measles exposure in Deschutes County earlier this month, county officials announced Wednesday.

A person contagious with measles visited Deschutes County on Saturday, Jan. 19, and Sunday, Jan. 20, during the early contagious period of the illness.

Deschutes County Health Services is working to notify individuals of their potential exposure and help them take steps to stop the spread of the virus. This case is connected to a broader outbreak that began in Clark County earlier this month.

According to Clark County, the individual reported that they visited the following public locations in Deschutes County while contagious:

Mountain Air, 20495 Murray Rd, Suite 150, Bend, Saturday, Jan. 19, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.* Juniper Swim and Fitness Center, 800 NE 6th St, Bend, Sunday, Jan. 20, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.*

*These times have been updated from the times that were initially reported.

These locations are now considered safe. The measles virus can live for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed.

If you were at one of these locations during this time period and are not fully vaccinated for measles, please contact Deschutes County Health Services at (541) 322-7418. This line is staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Most Oregonians have been vaccinated against measles and are protected. Anyone who has never been vaccinated is at much higher risk of getting measles if they come into contact with someone who is contagious.

What to do if you suspect you have measles

Please call ahead before visiting your health care provider if:

You are not immune, or are unsure of your immunity status, AND You have been exposed to measles, AND You have symptoms of measles

Making an entry plan to avoid exposing others in waiting rooms can help stop the spread of measles.

The Oregon Health Authority has also established a call center for general questions related to the measles. Anyone who has questions about public exposures should dial 2-1-1. The call center hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, including weekends.

Anyone with questions about measles infection or the measles vaccine should call their primary care provider or their public health department. For more information on measles for the public, please visit the OHA measles webpage.

About Measles

Measles poses the highest risk to unvaccinated pregnant women, infants under 12 months of age, and people with weakened immune systems.

The symptoms of measles start with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash that usually begins on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.

Common complications of measles include ear infection, lung infection, and diarrhea. Swelling of the brain is a rare but much more serious complication.

After someone contracts the measles virus, symptoms develop in about two weeks, but people can be contagious days before they know they’re sick.

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

A person is considered immune to measles if ANY of the following apply:

1. You were born before 1957.

2. A physician diagnosed you with measles in the past.

3. A blood test proves that you are immune.

4. You have been fully vaccinated against measles (one dose for children 12 months through 3 years old, two doses in anyone 4 years and older).

For current information about measles in Deschutes County, visit www.deschutes.org/measles.

Vaccination is the best prevention

Parents seeking immunizations for their children should contact their health care provider, a School-Based Health Center (SBHC) or Deschutes County Health Services (541) 322-7499 to make an appointment.

Appointments at School-Based Health Centers can be made at the following locations:

Bend – Bend High SBHC – (541) 383-3005 or Ensworth SBHC – (541) 383-3005 La Pine – La Pine SBHC – (541) 536-0400 Redmond – Lynch SBHC – (541) 383-3005 or Redmond High SBHC – (541) 383-3005 Sisters – Sisters SBHC – (541) 526-6623

Pharmacists can also immunize children age 7 or older. Please contact your local pharmacy for details.

To find out the immunization status of your child’s school visit: www.deschutes.org/immunizations.

KTVZ News Team

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