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Spot watch: Measles "next door" in King County

EVERETT: Snohomish Health District and local medical providers are keeping their eyes on a measles outbreak in south King County this week. Six cases of measles have been confirmed and a seventh case is probable.

"So far there are no reported cases in Snohomish County," said Jo Hofmann, MD, Deputy Health Officer and Director of the Communicable Disease Division at Snohomish Health District. "We hope that remains the situation --- but given our mobile population, the highly infectious nature of measles and the opportunities for exposure to it, we may not continue to be so lucky," said Dr. Hofmann.

Most of the exposure sites--- including an Elton John-Billy Joel concert at the Tacoma Dome--- were in south King County.

Most Washington residents are immune to measles, either by vaccination or by having had the disease. Dr. Hofmann said that the vulnerable population includes people who have not been vaccinated or who have received only one of the necessary two doses of vaccine.

"If you are unsure of your own or your child’s immunization status, this is a timely opportunity to find out from your health care provider if you need a measles vaccination," Dr. Hofmann said.

For information about measles, its symptom s and exposure locales, visit Seattle-King County’s Web site:

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.