Already focused on Kirkland as the possible source of eight cases of measles in Grant County, local public health officials said last weekend that another Grant County resident who visited the area at the end of April has contracted the disease.
Health officials learned last Saturday that a Grant County girl who visited King County as part of a school trip on April 29 tested positive for measles. The disease has a typical incubation period of 7 to 21 days, said James Apa, a spokesman with Public Health – Seattle & King County. Anyone becoming ill with measles because of an exposure on April 29 would be expected to develop symptoms between May 5 and May 19. Those showing symptoms of the disease should contact a health care provider immediately, Apa said.
Last month three members of a Grant County family who attended the Generation Church Conference from March 27-29 at the City Church of Kirkland (9051 132nd Ave. N.E.) contracted the disease. Five other members of the family now have confirmed cases.
Public health officials are unsure where the three came in contact with the illness, but have focused on the conference as a source because of its size and international draw. About 2,000 people from around the country and world attended.
Measles is a highly contagious virus that causes fever, skin irritation and other complications. The first signs of the illness showed up in one of the family’s conference-goers on April 12.
No other cases in King County or in connection with the conference had been reported as of May 2, Apa said.
Measles is on a national list of communicable diseases that must be reported to health officials when identified. Apa called it “much more” contagious than the flu.
King County had only one reported measles case in 2007 and none in 2006. Federal health officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, warned last week that the United States could soon face a major outbreak. Between Jan. 1 and April 25 the CDC recorded 64 cases of measles in the U.S., the highest number in recent years, officials said.
Most people born before 1957 had the disease in childhood, and children are routinely vaccinated against it. Both provide protection against the disease.
The public could have been exposed to measles at the following King County sites on April 29:
· 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, 6210 E Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E., Issaquah.
· Noon to 4:45 p.m.: Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum, 325 5th Avenue North, Seattle.
· 3:45 to 6:30 p.m.: McDonald’s Restaurant, 1305 NW Gilman Blvd., Issaquah.
For more information on the symptoms and treatment of measles, visit www.doh.wa.gov/EHSPHL/factsheet/measles.htm.
For immunizations, contact your provider or visit a Public Health – Seattle & King County immunization clinic: www.metrokc.gov/health/immunization/clinics.htm.