Exposed to measles? Here's what you need to know
This file photo shows measles.

A woman in King County was recently confirmed to have measles, and anyone who may have been exposed to the infection could start experiencing symptoms as soon as tomorrow, Jan. 25 through Feb. 10.

According to a county press release, a King County woman with a confirmed measles case was at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport from 12:26-3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18 and at Providence Swedish in First Hill from 2-4:55 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 20. Anyone who was at those locations during the times listed could have been exposed to measles, a King County press release said.

RELATED | Woman with measles was recently in Sea-Tac airport, Seattle Swedish

Measles is the most infectious, yet vaccine preventable, disease and can cause death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One infected person can infect at least 12-18 people. An estimated 128,000 people died of measles in 2021, most were children, according to the CDC.

“Measles is highly contagious and if you don’t have immunity, you can get it just by being in a room where a person with measles has been," Dr. Eric Chow, communicable disease chief for Public Health – Seattle & King County said in a statement.

According to the CDC, the virus is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and said virus can live in an airspace for up to two hours.

Those exposed and not immune to measles can experience the following symptoms within the first two weeks of infection: high fever cough, runny nose, and/or red, watery eyes.

Two to three days after symptoms begin tiny white spots, kolpik spots, may appear inside of your mouth. A rash on your face at the hairline may also appear three to five days after symptoms start then spread downwards to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet, the CDC said.


If you believe you have a suspected case of measles, the CDC said you should do the following:

  1. Immediately mask and isolate the patient in a room with a closed door (negative pressure room if available). Follow standard and airborne precautions.
  2. Only allow health care workers with presumptive evidence of measles immunity* to attend the patient; they must use N-95 masks.
  3. Evaluate the patient and order measles confirmatory testing (collect a throat or nasopharyngeal swab for RT-PCR and serum for IgM measles testing).
  4. Contact infection control if available at your facility.
  5. Immediately report this suspected case to your local and/or state health department.

For more information on Measles, visit the King County website or CDC website.

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