What Do I Need to Know?

A patient who arrived at our Emergency Department (ED) on June 22, June 25 and June 26 has tested positive for measles. During each visit, ED staff members followed the appropriate screening processes but the patient’s symptoms did not suggest measles until their third visit on June 26. Immediately, we implemented infection control procedures, which include isolating the patient and their family. As part of our standard process, we reported the event to King County Public Health.

If your patient or family has a concern regarding measles please direct them to visit the King County Public Health website at kingcounty.gov/measles. This is also an excellent resource for you and your staff if you have questions.

What Did We Do?

We have contacted the families of patients who may have been exposed, providing information about exposure dates and disease symptoms.

For those patients who were not measles immune, they were instructed to come to our ED to receive IgG or vaccination as appropriate. Most patients chose to receive their treatment at Seattle Children’s ED; for those who did, you should have received a faxed ED discharge summary outlining their treatment and the instructions we gave the family.

Some families chose to get their treatment closer to home or chose not to get prophylaxis. We will follow up with the PCPs of those patients in a separate communication.

What Did We Tell Patients Who Were Exposed?

We contacted families and provided the following instructions based off their incubation period. Below are incubation period ranges for exposure dates:

  • For those who received the vaccine:
    • Exposed on June 22: incubation June 28 through July 14
    • Exposed on June 25: incubation June 30 through July 16
    • Exposed on June 26: incubation July 1 through July 17
  • For those who received IgG:
    • Exposed on June 22: incubation June 28 through July 21
    • Exposed on June 25: incubation June 30 through July 23
    • Exposed on June 26: incubation July 1 through July 24

Families who did NOT have the vaccination were instructed to come to the ED at Seattle Children’s or a location in their community to receive IgG prophylaxis or vaccine (as appropriate) or their provider’s office to receive the vaccine. They were instructed to call their PCP’s office before coming to any visit to let them know about their exposure and wear a mask when out in public. We are in the process of contacting their PCP so they can, as appropriate, reschedule any appointment(s) the patient(s) may have within the contagious window.  Please visit the King County Public Health website at kingcounty.gov/measles for appropriate isolation precautions.

Families who are up-to-date on all vaccinations were notified they are likely protected from measles, but could get a mild case.

All families received information about the signs and symptoms for illness including;

  • Fever, followed by
  • Cough, runny nose, or conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Rash develops several days later and starts on the head and neck, then moves downward and outward eventually reaching the hands and feet.