What Do I Need to Know?

A nurse who works in one of our River inpatient units has tested positive for measles, and was potentially contagious while working night shifts on Monday, July 8, Tuesday, July 9 and Wednesday, July 10. The nurse was exposed while caring for a patient who had tested positive for measles. The nurse was fully vaccinated and used appropriate personal protective equipment; the patient was in appropriate isolation. As part of our standard process, we reported the event to King County Public Health.

King County Department of Health reports that measles is preventable with the safe and highly effective MMR vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), two doses of the MMR vaccine are more than 95% effective in preventing measles and that protection is long lasting.

If your patient or family has a concern regarding measles, please direct them to visit the King County Public Health website. 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.

The inpatients who were not measles immune were offered IgG prophylaxis and the outpatients were instructed to come to our ED to receive IgG as appropriate. For those who received IgG in our ED, their PCP should have received a faxed ED discharge summary outlining their treatment and the instructions we gave the family. For those who received IgG while inpatient, information about their treatment will be included in their discharge summary.

Some families chose to get their treatment closer to home. 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.

Families who did NOT have the vaccination were instructed to come to the Seattle Children’s ED or some may have chosen a location in their community to receive IgG prophylaxis (as appropriate). The incubation period for patients who were exposed and received IgG is through August 7. 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 the can, as appropriate, reschedule any appointment(s) the patient(s) may have within the contagious window.  Please visit the King County Public Health website for appropriate isolation precautions.

Families who are up-to-date on all vaccinations were notified they are likely protected from measles.

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.