EvergreenHealth is responding to the recent outbreak of measles in Washington State as a serious threat to the health and safety of our staff, patients and community.
It’s so serious that Governor Inslee has declared a state of emergency in response to the outbreak.
What you need to know
- Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough and red, watery eyes. It is mainly spread through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes.
- Measles symptoms begin seven to 21 days after exposure. Measles is contagious from approximately four days before the rash appears through four days after the rash appears. People can spread measles before they have the characteristic measles rash.
- Measles complications can include ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, and rarely, encephalitis (brain inflammation).
- Complications from measles can happen even in healthy people but those at highest risk include: infants and children under 5 years, adults over 20 years, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems from drugs or underlying disease.
Symptoms of measles
Do you have any of these symptoms?
Measles mainly spreads through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes. Do you have:
- Red, watery eyes
IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS, and you are a patient today, please immediately put on a mask to cover your nose and mouth and go directly to where you will receive care.
F YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS, and you are NOT a patient, but a visitor … thank you for returning home and coming back when you are well.
What EvergreenHealth is doing to keep our community safe:
- To prevent measles exposure within EvergreenHealth, we are posting signs at all the entry points of the hospital and at our practices and all locations asking staff and visitors to check for symptoms and to mask if indicated.
- Our clinical staff will be alert to measles symptoms and to respond quickly and appropriately to a possible case of measles.
- We will use our external website and our social media channels to alert our community and provide links to resources including the Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and King County Public Health.
What you can do at home for yourself and your family:
- Check the immunization status of your family members. The CDC recommends a first dose of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR) at 12 to 15 months, followed by a second dose at 4-6 years of age.
- If your family will be traveling outside the United States, your baby may need to receive their MMR doses earlier than this. Adults born after 1956 may need a dose of MMR if they have not already had it.
- Stay alert to possible illness in yourself and your family. If you or a family member has measles symptoms, stay home and phone your care health care provider for instructions.
- If a family member has the measles, make sure that the rest of the family has immunity to measles. If you have received two (2) doses of MMR vaccines, you are considered immune and may work.
If you or a family member shows symptoms of measles, call your family doctor or call the Healthline's free consulting nurse at 425.899.3000.