Bonney Lake mom says she’s afraid her baby could have been exposed to measles

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PIERCE COUNTY - Baby boy Vintage is a thriving and happy baby. But now the threat of the measles has turned his family’s life upside down.

“I have a two-week waiting period to see if my son is going to be ok or not, it’s kind of nerve wracking,” Samantha Lee said.

That’s because Lee says her two month-old on Saturday could have been exposed to the measles by a man who came to the same clinic in Bonney Lake.

Lee says her fiancée took her baby boy to Sound Family walk-in clinic on Saturday about 15 minutes after the man with the confirmed case of the measles had left the clinic. But the virus is so contagious it remains in the air for up to two hours after a person with the measles leaves an area.

“I know this is extremely horrific for infants and pregnant women, him being only 2 months old not having any type of immune system,” Lee said.

People with compromised immune systems and newborns under 6 months old are some of the most vulnerable. Infants have to reach 6 months before they can get the first dose of the MMR vaccine that fights off the measles.

“That disease is going to look for any vulnerabilities that may exist,” Edie Jeffers with Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department said.

That’s why health experts say people need to get vaccinated, the best defense for the overall community is a high immunization rate.

It’s unknown whether or not the Orting man confirmed with measles was ever vaccinated, but what is clear is that just one case is using up a lot of time and resources to track down people who have been exposed.

“Kind of like a forensics process where we are discovering that information, we are assembling that list,” Jeffers said.

A list that includes many areas of possible exposure, including parts of Sea-Tac airport and Orting High School.

Orting School District Superintendent Dr. Marci Shepard says the infected man attended two events at the high school.

“We hope this is an isolated case, our immunization rate at our school district is very high but we are monitoring it with the health department,” Dr. Shepard said.

On May 6 the man with the measles attended a city planning meeting at Orting High School and then on May 7 the man was at the same Performing Arts Center inside the high school for an Orting Junior dance team event. The two events are not affiliated with the district but dozens in that community attended those events.

“We interview that person, all the places they have been,” Jeffers said.

So far the state health department says they have spent nearly $1.9 million in the fight against measles outbreak this year to pay for things like testing and vaccines.

As for Lee’s baby boy, the family can only wait, desperately hoping he won’t show any symptoms in the coming weeks.

Health experts say the incubation period for measles is 21 days.

Symptoms include flu-like symptoms and a rash all over the body.

“If people were getting the vaccines this wouldn’t be going around in this day and age,” Lee said.

The Bonney Lake mom of 4 says all of her kids have been vaccinated. However, she’s stayed away from the vaccine debate until now.

Here is the full list of possible exposure sites:

May 6 – 10, 20195:30 – 8 a.m.Sea-Tac International Airport
Main parking garage 8th floor, far southern garage elevator, 4th level breezeway to escalator, terminal to baggage claim area
May 6 - 10, 20192 – 5 p.m.Sea-Tac International Airport
Baggage claim area to escalator, 4th level breezeway, far southern garage elevator, 8th floor parking garage
May 6, 20195 – 7:15 p.m.Orting Transmission 130 Corrin Ct. NW., Orting
May 6, 20196 – 10 p.m. Orting High School, Orting City Planning Meeting, 320 Washington Ave. N. Orting.
May 7, 201910 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.Sea-Tac International Airport
General area around gate A10 of Sea-Tac Airport
May 7, 20195 – 8 p.m.Orting Transmission 130 Corrin Ct. NW., Orting
May 7, 20197:30 – 10 p.m.Orting High School, Orting Junior Dance Team Banquet, 320 Washington Ave. N. Orting
May 9, 201910 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.Sea-Tac International Airport
General area around gate A10 of Sea-Tac Airport
May 9, 20194 – 7:30 p.m.Discount Tire, 19815 S. Prairie Rd. E., Bonney Lake.
May 9, 20196 – 9:30 p.m.Skookum Archery, 11209 Shaw Rd. E., Puyallup.
May 10. 20196:30 – 8:40 a.m.76 Gas Station Market, 2841 S 188th St, SeaTac
May 10, 20193:15 – 5:45 p.m. and 6:30 – 9 p.m.Orting Transmission 130 Corrin Ct. NW., Orting
May 11, 20198 – 10:30 a.m.Sound Family Medicine Bonney Lake Walk-in Clinic, 10004 204 Ave., Bonney Lake.

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