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Health alert: child with measles visited Island's MercyVet

A child with measles who is stirring public alert was reportedly at MercyVet on Mercer Island on Feb. 12 when he or she was highly contagious with the disease.

According to King County Public Health, the child was exposed to measles, which is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus, while outside of the United States. The child returned to the Seattle area on Feb. 12 and was among the public until Feb. 15.

Island pediatrician Dr. Hal Quinn emphasized the importance of announcing the news to Islanders.

“Any child with compatible symptoms who may have been exposed to the infected child should contact their health care provider,” Quinn said.

Those who may have picked up measles from the contagious child would be expected to have a rash onset between Feb. 19 and March 8. Other symptoms of measles include a cough, runny nose and red eyes.

MercyVet owner Jackie Obando said, “We are pretty comfortable that nothing will come out of this.”

According to the veterinarian, there were only three people in the clinic when the child was present. All MercyVet staff members have been fully vaccinated for measles.

Despite this, Obando said she contacted everyone who was in the clinic on Feb. 12 to notify them of the news.

According to King County Public Health, the measles incubation period is typically 10 days (14 days to rash onset; range seven to 21 days).

Children with suspected measles should be instructed to wear a mask covering the nose and mouth, avoid public places, minimize contact with others, and stay out of patient waiting rooms. The infection is highly contagious and can be fatal.

If you suspect measles and would like assistance with diagnosis and testing, please contact King County Public Health immediately by calling (206) 296-4774.

Other questions about the infection can be answered at www.kingcounty.gov/health.

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