News release from Washington’s Department of Health

Contact: Donn Moyer, Department of Health Communications Office, 360-236-4076

Measles: Disneyland case traveled through Sea-Tac Airport to Puget Sound

OLYMPIA — A person with measles traveled to Sea-Tac Airport and visited several public areas in King and Snohomish counties while contagious. Most people in our state are immune to measles, so public risk is low except for people who are not vaccinated. People who haven’t been vaccinated or aren’t sure if they’re immune should ask a health care professional for advice.

Public health officials say an out-of-state, unimmunized woman in her 20s became contagious with measles on December 28, 2014 after visiting Disneyland in southern CA in December. The visit was during a time when others who later got measles were at the park. Measles is highly contagious and can cause severe illness with rash, fever, cough, eye irritation, and can be fatal.
The contagious traveler flew from Orange County, CA to Sea-Tac on December 29 and flew out of Sea-Tac airport on January 3 to return home. She stayed with family in Snohomish County.

Anyone who was in one of the following locations during the indicated times may have been exposed to measles:

King County:

12/29-12/30/2014 at Sea-Tac Airport

  • 10:30 pm on 12/29 to 2:00 am on 12/30, Main terminal baggage claim
  • 12:00 am to 2:45 am on 12/30, Sea-Tac Rental Car Facility

1/3/2015 at Sea-Tac Airport

12/30/2014

  • 1 am-3 am at Dicks Drive-In, 115 Broadway Ave. East, Seattle, WA 98102

Snohomish County

  • 12/30/14, 1:00pm-7:00pm at Bethany at Pacific (Elevator, 3rd-5th floors), 916 Pacific Avenue, Everett, WA 98201
  • 12/30/14, 8:00pm-12:00am at Anthony’s Home Port in Edmonds, 456 Admiral Way, Edmonds WA
  • 1/1/15, 2:45pm-6:30pm at Swedish Edmonds Emergency Room, 21601 76th Avenue W., Edmonds, WA 98026

After returning home to California, the traveler got medical attention and was diagnosed with measles on January 8; she was infectious beginning on December 28. Health authorities in Washington and at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were notified. The CDC is following-up to notify those on the same flights as the contagious traveler.

Anyone who was in those locations at the listed times should find out if they have been vaccinated for measles or have had measles previously. People who are unvaccinated, aren’t sure if they’re immune, and develop an illness with fever or unexplained rash should consult a health care professional immediately. Public health officials urge them to call ahead to their clinic, doctor’s office, or emergency room before arriving so people in waiting rooms aren’t exposed.

Measles is highly contagious even before the rash starts, and is easily spread when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. If you’re not vaccinated, you can get the measles just by walking into a room where someone with the disease has been in the past couple of hours.

Children should be vaccinated with two doses of measles, mumps, rubella vaccine, with the first dose between 12 and 15 months and the second at four-to-six years. Adults should have at least one measles vaccination; some people need two. The state Department of Health immunization program has online information about measles and measles vaccine.

Today, the state Public Health Laboratories confirmed a single measles case in Grays Harbor County in an unvaccinated woman in her teens. She also went to Disneyland when other confirmed cases were at the park. Health officials are working to contact people who may have been exposed at the health care facility she visited while contagious, Summit Pacific Medical Center in Elma.

The Department of Health website (www.doh.wa.gov) is your source for a healthy dose of information. Also, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.