TACOMA -- Measles cases are up dramatically from last year and that has the state warning of an outbreak.
There are 27 confirmed measles cases in Washington state this year. That’s more than five times the total cases reported for all of 2013.
Washington state Department of Health officials are reminding people that vaccinations are the best protection against spreading this serious and preventable disease.
The latest case was confirmed in Tacoma this week. A young woman went to the Albertson’s on S. 38th Street on July 3 and to Tacoma General Hospital on July 3 and 4. The health department is urging anyone who also visited those locations on those dates to let their doctors to let them know they were exposed to measles.
There have been 11 confirmed cases in King County and two in Pierce County, making this outbreak the highest reported since 1996.
Measles are still common in many parts of the world like Europe, Asia and Africa.
The disease spreads when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes.
Measles signs and symptoms appear 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can be contagious even before symptoms show up. Signs and symptoms of measles typically include:
• Dry cough
• Runny nose
• Sore throat
• Inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis)
• Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background found inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek — also called Koplik's spots
• A skin rash made up of large, flat blotches that often flow into one another