Health officials in southwestern Idaho are warning medical care providers to be on the lookout for symptoms of measles because of an outbreak in western Washington that has sickened at least 26 people.
Officials with Southwest District Health in Caldwell, Idaho say so far no measles cases have been reported in Idaho as a result of the outbreak. However, some of the people infected with the virus have visited public places like the Portland International Airport, and Washington Department of Health epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist says the outbreak is expected to move across the state.
Southwest District Health says health care providers should consider measles if they see patients with symptoms like fever and malaise followed by a rash that starts at the head and moves down the body.
Measles is highly contagious and can be spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus can remain in the air for up to two hours.
Measles can lead to serious complications including pneumonia but the vaccine is up to 97 percent effective and protects recipients for life.