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Connect the dots: Measles now in Island County; Snohomish County next?

EVERETT: Snohomish Health District announced today that there is a probable case of measles in Island County that could affect residents of Snohomish County. Health officials are waiting for confirmation of test results at the state laboratory. In recent weeks, 11 case s of measles have been reported in King County.

The sick child is an 11-year-old girl who is a home-schooled resident of Camano Island. She may have been exposed to measles on a recent trip to Disneyland or at Sea-Tac Airport.

"Right now we are trying to establish a list of places the girl may have visited in Snohomish County while she was contagious," said Jo Hofmann, MD, Deputy Health Officer and Director of the Communicable Disease Division at Snohomish Health District. Dr. Hofmann explained that people who have not had the measles or who have not been properly vaccinated against measles can contract measles from exposure to a person who is in the contagious phase of measles.

The girl attended a youth group meeting at the Camano Chapel on Feb. 14, and on Feb. 19 and 21 she visited the Stanwood-Camano Medical Center in Stanwood.

Health officials from both Island and Snohomish counties are preparing to meet tomorrow with the Camano Chapel youth group to review with them the early symptoms of measles. Dr. Hofmann already has alerted health care providers in Snohomish County.

"Correct and complete immunization is the best preventive measure against measles," said Dr. Hofmann. "But if you see symptoms of measles in yourself or your child, please avoid exposing other people to it. Telephone your health care provider for advice before simply arriving in a full waiting room," she said.

For general information about measles, its symptoms and exposure locales, visit Seattle-King County’s Web site: Snohomish County residents may call 425.339.5225. Island County residents should call the Island County Department of Health at 360.387.3882.

Established in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works to improve the health of individuals, families and communities through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats.