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The original item was published from 3/14/2019 2:34:53 PM to 3/14/2019 2:39:38 PM.

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Health & Human Services

Posted on: March 14, 2019

[ARCHIVED] PRESS RELEASE: Suspect Measles in Cowlitz Resident

Cowlitz County Health & Human Services (CCHHS) is investigating 1 suspected case of measles in a person who recently received the measles-mumps-rubella, or MMR, vaccine.
This suspect case does not appear to be linked to the Clark County outbreak.

About 5 percent of previously unvaccinated people will develop a rash after being immunized. People who experience these mild vaccine-associated rashes cannot transmit the vaccine virus to other people. In this situation, it is difficult to determine whether the rash is a benign vaccine reaction or measles illness. For this suspect case, specimens are being sent to a specialized laboratory out of state to confirm measles, but it can take more than a week to get the results. CCHHS is not able to provide any additional information about this suspect case in order to protect the patient’s privacy.

Until lab results are available, and in order to protect those who may have been exposed, CCHHS is treating this suspect case as we would treat confirmed cases and releasing information about public locations they visited while potentially contagious with measles.

Here are the locations where people may have been exposed to measles:
Health care facilities
Child & Adolescent Clinic, 971 11th Avenue, Longview from 8:45 am to 12:30 pm Tuesday,
March 5
PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center Emergency Department, 1615 Delaware Street,
Longview from 11:45 pm Saturday, March 9 to 3:30 am Sunday, March 10

Symptoms of the measles include a rash that usually begins on the face and spreads to other parts of the body. 3-5 days before the rash begins a patient can experience a high fever, cough, runny nose, and red watery eyes. CCHHS is urging anyone who may have been exposed at an identified location and believes they have symptoms of measles to call their health care provider prior to visiting the medical office to make a plan that avoids exposing others in the waiting room.
People who believe they have symptoms of measles should not go directly to medical offices, urgent care centers or emergency departments (unless experiencing a medical emergency) without calling in advance.

Dr. Alan Melnick, Interim Cowlitz County Health Officer
Dr. Melnick can be reached through, Marissa Armstrong, Communications Specialist, 360-518-1731 (cell), or

Anyone with questions about their measles immunity or the measles vaccine should contact their primary care provider. CCHHS does not provide immunizations or testing for immunity. If you are unsure of your family's immunization status, you can view, download and print your family's immunization information online at or request a copy of your immunization record from the Washington State Department of Health. Anyone who has questions about public exposures should call 360-414-5599, extension 6431, during regular business hours, M-F, 8:30 am – noon, and 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm

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