Middle-aged man in Port Angeles confirmed with measles; source of exposure unknown

PORT ANGELES, Wash. -- Tests confirmed the diagnosis of an active case of measles in a middle-aged man in Port Angeles, the Clallam County Health and Human Services Department said Tuesday. The source of the exposure is unknown.

The department, along with Olympic Medical Center and the Washington State Department of Health, is conducting an initial investigation of this measles outbreak to determine who may have been exposed to the infection, a department news release said.

Measles is among the most contagious viral disease known. It is spread by an airborne route and over 90% of susceptible individuals will become infected if exposed.

More than 100 cases of measles have been diagnosed in 14 states linked to the Disneyland amusement park in California. It is not yet known whether the Port Angeles case is linked to this outbreak.

Individuals born before 1957 are presumed to be immune to measles. Individuals born in 1957 or later should have at least one dose of MMR vaccine, the department said.

Children, adolescents and some people with occupational or travel exposure risk should have at least two doses of the MMR vaccine, the department said. A blood test is available to determine whether a person is immune to measles.

The department said the highest priority for the public health department is to identify and notify exposed community members and assess whether they are susceptible to measles infection.