Number of measles cases climbs to five; four no longer contagious

— Submitted by SJC/Town of Friday Harbor Dept. of Emergency Management

(This press release stated in error that a person with a confirmed case of measles had been at the Town of Friday Harbor planning office, when that person had in fact visited San Juan County's planning department. The article below has been changed to correct that error).

The San Juan County Health Department will be providing additional immunizations in Friday Harbor, Friday, April 11, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

If you do not have a regular health care provider call the Health Department (378-4474) and make an appointment to get immunized now.

If you are feeling sick and think you may have the measles do not come to the Health Department or your medical provider without calling first. If you think you have measles you will be asked to wear a mask and may be conducted to a special room for examination.

Remember call first before going to your health care provider or the Health Department.

Currently there are a total of five cases of measles on San Juan Island, four of whom are no longer contagious. However, a Kitsap County resident diagnosed with measles was contagious during his stay in Friday Harbor on April 4. Individuals may have been exposed at the following places and times:

  • Kenmore Air 8 a.m. flight from Seattle
  • Port of Friday Harbor Marina, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • San Juan County Planning Department, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Cask and Schooner Restaurant, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Friday Harbor Fuel Dock, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

These times overlap because the measles virus can remain in the air up to 2 hours and still be infectious.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory viral disease that spreads easily when the infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. It is different from food borne illnesses spread by contaminated food that can occur when a food worker does not use correct food safety practices (e.g. washing hands, avoiding cross-contamination, and cooking foods to a safe internal temperature).

If you become infected, the symptoms of measles will be present 7-21 days after exposure. Symptoms are high fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and a rash of tiny, red spots that starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.

Measles is especially dangerous for children under five years of age, pregnant women, and immunocompromised persons.

If you or your child, older than 12 months of age; has not received a dose of MMR vaccine, you should be vaccinated now. If you or your child are older than 12 months of age and have received one dose of MMR vaccine and it has been more than 28 days since that dose you should now receive a second dose of MMR vaccine.

Most adults born before 1957 have had measles and can be considered to be immune.


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