Woman attends concert, visits public places while unknowingly contagious with measles
SEATTLE, WA. (WJLA) - Washington state health officials issued a warning after the discovery that a woman in her 20s with a contagious case of measles attended a closely-packed concert and several area businesses in the western part of the state.
The woman reportedly contracted the disease on or around March 26, from a family in British Columbia linked to a local outbreak.
After being exposed, the woman traveled to western Washington and visited a number of public places, including the LeMay Car Museum, a bakery, a Starbucks, a local market, some department stores, and several other local cafes and bistros.
She also reportedly attended a March 28 concert by the band Kings of Leon at Key Arena, and stayed at the Best Western Loyal Inn near the venue.
"Anyone who was in those locations at the listed times should find out if they have been vaccinated for measles or have had measles previously," the Washington State Department of Health said in a bulletin. "People who are unvaccinated, aren’t sure if they’re immune, and develop an illness with fever or unexplained rash should consult a health care professional immediately."
Officials warned, if anyone believes they are becoming sick, they should call ahead to their clinic, doctor’s office or emergency room before arriving so people in waiting rooms aren’t exposed.
Officials explained, measles is highly contagious even before the rash starts, and is easily spread when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes.
"If you're not vaccinated, you can get the measles just by walking into a room where someone with the disease has been in the past couple of hours," said the department's bulletin.
Symptoms begin between seven to 21 days after exposure and is contagious for about four days before a rash appears, until four days afterward, officials said.
People at highest risk from exposure to measles include those who are unvaccinated, pregnant women, infants under 6 months of age, and those with weakened immune systems.
Anyone who was in the western part of Washington state around these dates in the end of March should consult the health department's website for a full list of locations the woman visited, and more information.