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Health advisory issued after man diagnosed with measles

SEATTLE — A King County man who recently returned from Asia has been diagnosed with measles and may have exposed others at Sea-Tac International Airport and in the waiting room of the emergency department at Harborview Medical Center on Tuesday, Aug. 21, health officials said Friday.

“He reportedly wore a face mask while he was ill at the locations of potential exposure … which may have reduced the risk to others,” Public Health – Seattle & King County said in a news release, but adding the measles is highly contagious.

Locations of potential exposure to measles

Before they were diagnosed with measles, the infected man was in the following public locations. Anyone who was at the following locations during the times listed was possibly exposed to measles:

Sea-Tac Airport, 17801 International Blvd, Seattle, WA 98158: The individual spent time at the international arrival area, customs/immigration, and the baggage claim area during this time period:

  • August 21, 2018:  12:45PM-3:50PM

Harborview Medical Center Emergency Department waiting room, 325 9th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104, during the following time:

  • August 21, 2018:  2:20PM-5:15PM

According to officials, the ill patient was moved into isolation at the hospital less than an hour after arriving, but the exposure time could be longer because the measles virus can remain in the air for a period of time even after an infected person has left.

“If you were at the locations at the times listed above and are not immune to measles, the most likely time you would become sick is between August 28 and September 11, 2018,” the health department said.

The department said most people in our area have immunity to the measles through vaccination, so the risk to the general public is low.

“However, all persons who were in the following locations around the same time as the individual with measles should:

  • Find out if they have been vaccinated for measles or have had measles previously, and
  • Call a health care provider promptly if they develop an illness with fever or illness with an unexplained rash between August 28 and September 11, 2018. To avoid possibly spreading measles to other patients, do not go to a clinic or hospital without calling first to tell them you want to be evaluated for measles.”