Shoppers possibly exposed to measles virus

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

Patrons who were at Costco between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., or at the Bellis Fair Mall from noon to 4 p.m. could have been exposed to the 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 are contagious from one to two days before symptoms surface, and up to four days after a rash begins. It can also take from seven 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 Costco or the mall, you could have been exposed to the measles — if you begin to develop symptoms, 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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