Whatcom County Health Department warns of possible measles exposure at Bellingham Costco, Bellis Fair


BELLINGHAM - People who shopped at Costco and at Bellis Fair mall Saturday, June 22, might have been exposed to measles by someone who was contagious and at those locations, the Whatcom County Health Department warned Thursday, June 27.

The warning is for people who were in Costco from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or at the mall from noon to 4 p.m. that Saturday. No details were provided about the contagious person, who was visiting Whatcom County.

Public health officials are urging people who may have been exposed and don't know whether they're immune to check with their doctor. Most people have been vaccinated against the disease.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that is spread primarily through coughing and sneezing. The virus can remain in the air for up to two hours after an infected person has left a room.

Shoppers who don't have immunity to the virus will start showing symptoms between June 29 and July 13, the health department said.

Symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough and watery, bloodshot eyes, as well as a rash, which usually starts on the face and spreads down to most of the body.

Measles is rare in the U.S., although New York state has been reporting an outbreak.

No recent cases have been confirmed in Whatcom County or Washington state, the department said.

People who develop symptoms should stay home to avoid exposing others. They also should call their doctor's office, first informing health-care providers that they might have measles.

More is online at doh.wa.gov. Type "measles" into the search window.

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