Person contagious with measles was at Lynden businesses

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDApril 2, 2014 

The number of measles cases in Whatcom County has increased to six - five family members in one household and someone who visited them and then traveled to other places in Whatcom, King and Pierce counties while contagious.

Public health officials are urging people who aren't immunized to get vaccinated.

"Measles is preventable with vaccination. The vaccine is safe and effective," said Dr. Greg Stern, Whatcom County health officer.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that is spread through breathing, coughing and sneezing.

The family visitor, a woman in her 20s, worked at Lynden Dutch Bakery while contagious on March 26, 27 and 28.

She traveled to Seattle for a Kings of Leon concert at KeyArena on March 28 and went to a number of other locations, including Pike Place Market.

The Whatcom County cases are connected to a measles outbreak that was declared March 8 in Canada's Fraser Valley, where at least 320 confirmed cases have created British Columbia's largest outbreak of the disease.

Most of the cases were related to a religious group, called the Netherlands Reformed Congregation, that has a high number of unvaccinated children, according to the Vancouver Sun.

The Whatcom County family has ties to that church community.

Public health officials on Wednesday, April 2, released a list of times and places the contagious woman went March 26 through March 29 to let people know whether they might have been exposed.

In Whatcom County, she was mainly in the Lynden area. The time frames include two hours after the woman left each location because that's how long the virus can remain in the air after a contagious person has departed:

-- March 26, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Lynden Dutch Bakery, 421 Front St.

-- March 27, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Lynden Dutch Bakery.

-- March 28, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lynden Dutch Bakery.

-- March 28, 4:55 to 6:55 p.m. at Lynden Wine and Spirits, 610 Front St.

-- March 28, 5:15 to 7:15 p.m. at the Shell gas station at 6896 Guide Meridian, at the corner of Pole Road.

Symptoms of measles 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.

Anyone who has a fever and rash and thinks they might have measles should call ahead to the doctor so they can avoid exposing other people in the waiting room.

Washington state usually has five or fewer measles cases per year. There have been seven so far in 2014, according to the Washington Department of Health.

"It's a little higher than what we normally see but not completely abnormal at this point," said department spokesman Donn Moyer.

LIST OF PLACES VISITED BY CONTAGIOUS PERSON

The woman visited these places at these times in Whatcom, King and Pierce counties.

LEARN MORE

More information about measles and its symptoms is online at:

-- doh.wa.gov. Type "measles" into the search window.

-- cdc.gov. Type "measles" into the search window.

Reach KIE RELYEA at kie.relyea@bellinghamherald.com or call 715-2234.

Bellingham Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service