Local public health officials have confirmed a case of measles in an adult Snohomish County resident who acquired the disease in Asia. Also known as rubeola, measles is a potentially severe disease caused by the measles virus.
The ill traveler flew to Seattle from Thailand via Korea on Asiana flight 272 on January 6th. The traveler became ill during the flight and sought medical attention at a King County medical facility on January 9th. The diagnosis of measles was confirmed today by the state laboratory.
Persons who were on the same flight as the traveler or who were at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on January 6th between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon were possibly exposed to measles. People who are not immune to measles and were in a place where the infected person was while contagious should contact their health care provider. The risk to the public from this case is low, as the infected person did not make stops on the way from the airport to arriving at home in Snohomish County.
Measles spreads easily among susceptible persons and can result in serious infections complicated by pneumonia, encephalitis, seizures, and death. Most persons born before 1957 had the disease in childhood and younger persons are routinely vaccinated against measles, both of which provide protection against the disease.
The case is being investigated jointly by Public Health – Seattle & King County, Snohomish Health District and the Washington State Department of Health.