Authorities say there are now 40 confirmed cases of measles in a Pacific Northwest outbreak.
Facebook was buzzing Friday night and Saturday with rumors about a confirmed case of measles in Salem, but, turns out, that’s not the case.
Lab tests for a Salem-area individual came back negative for measles Saturday afternoon, Marion County health officials confirmed.
Once health officials were notified of the potential measles case, they sent a sample to the Oregon State Public Health Lab to be tested.
While the sample was being processed, Jonathan Modie, a spokesperson for the Oregon Health Authority, said they could expect one of three likely scenarios.
First was that the suspected case would be connected to the past month’s outbreak in Clark County, Washington and Multnomah County that has sent more than 50 unvaccinated people to hospitals.
If it wasn’t connected to the larger outbreak, it could be an isolated case. The third scenario was that it wasn’t a measles case at all — which proved true.
Symptoms of measles start with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes which is followed by a rash that usually begins on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.
Those with symptoms should call their health provider in advance to be seen where others cannot be exposed.
For general questions related to measles, dial 2-1-1 to reach a call center established by the Oregon Health Authority daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Abby Luschei is a reporter for the Statesman Journal; she can be reached at [email protected] or 503-399-6747. Follow her on Twitter @abbyluschei or facebook.com/luscheiabby.
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