At least two people in Oregon — one resident and one visitor — have been diagnosed with measles after they were exposed to the illnesses earlier this month by an infected person at Portland International Airport, state officials announced.
The patients were not identified. One is a Lane County resident while the other is a Washington County visitor, according to a news release from the Oregon Health Authority.
The two people were likely exposed to the virus by another passenger on an international flight that arrived at the Portland airport on Oct. 12, officials said. Flight details were not revealed.
“None of the cases have been fully vaccinated against measles,” per the news release.
Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads through the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes. Others can contract measles when they breathe the contaminated air or touch a contaminated surface, and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth.
“Infected people can spread measles to others from four days before through four days after the rash appears,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says.
The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine can protect both individuals and other people from contracting the virus.
Young children are typically most at risk of contracting measles. The CDC recommends children get two doses of the MMR vaccination, but the first dose is typically given to children when they are between 12 and 15 months old, with the second occurring between ages 4 and 6.