As you may have heard, measles was identified in a visitor to Snohomish County early last month. This individual then spread measles to four of the six members of the family they were visiting. Relevantly, the two immunized people in the household did not contract measles. You can learn more about the measles cases in this press release (click to open link).

At the time of the initial case, several sites in Monroe were identified as possible areas of exposure for county residents. Measles is highly contagious, and can exist in the air for up to two hours after an infected person leaves. For this reason, the Snohomish Health District wanted to ensure that individuals with possible exposure were aware of their risk.

What does this mean for child care providers?
The period of incubation has now passed, and our communicable disease team does not have reason to expect there will be more cases related to this small outbreak. However, it is a good time to revisit the benefits of immunization for yourself and the vulnerable children you care for. You can learn more about immunizations and the diseases they prevent during this month’s free, 2 STARS credit distance learning class. “Immunizations: Protecting Child Care Providers and Children.”

When cases like this occur, there is no need to exclude unimmunized children unless you have received direct notice to do so by the health district or by your licensor. It is a good idea to relay information about outbreaks to parents so that they can be as prepared as possible. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to our public health nurse Bonnie Decker at 425-339-5228.