Possible measles exposure in Bellingham

BELLINGHAM — The Whatcom County Health Department has been notified that a person with measles shopped at Costco and the Bellis Fair Mall, both located on Meridian Street in Bellingham, on Saturday, June 22.

Patrons who were at Costco between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. or at the Bellis Fair Mall from noon and 4 p.m. on June 22 could have been exposed to the measles virus.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that is spread by respiratory and airborne droplets. It can remain in the air for up to 2 hours after the infectious person has left the room. Measles cases are contagious from 1-2 days before their symptoms start through 4 days after their rash begins. It can take from 7 to 21 days for someone to come down with measles after they have been exposed to the virus. This means that patrons of Costco or Bellis Fair Mall could start to have symptoms between June 29 and July 13.

If you were at these locations where you could have been exposed to the measles virus and you begin to develop symptoms, please stay home so that you do not expose others. Measles usually starts with a fever, runny nose, cough and red, watery eyes. After several days, a rash develops which usually starts on the face and spreads downward to cover most of the body. The rash can last from several days to a week or more.

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