Communicable Disease

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Communicable Disease

Director: Jennifer Johnson


Counties in the Puget Sound area are currently investigating confirmed measles cases.
Cases and exposure sites in other counties may affect Skagit County residents. Please check other counties' measles websites (linked below) for exposure locations in:

King County
Pierce County
Snohomish County


Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads through coughing and sneezing. The virus can survive for up to two hours in a room where someone who is infected has coughed or sneezed. If someone is not immune and is exposed to the virus, they have a 90 percent chance of becoming infected. 

Symptoms generally appear 7 to 21 days after the person is infected. They include cough, runny nose, high fever, red and watery eyes, and the measles rash. The rash often shows up several days after other symptoms. Someone is contagious up to four days before and four days after the rash appears.

Measles can be serious. Roughly one in four people who get measles in the U.S. will be hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One of every 1,000 people with measles develops brain swelling, which can cause permanent damage. And one or two of every 1,000 people with measles will die, even with treatment.
Those at greatest risk of infection include people who have not been vaccinated, infants, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems.

Measles Fact Sheet (English)
El SarampiĆ³n (EspaƱol)
Measles information in other languages


The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best protection against measles and is highly effective in preventing the virus and reducing outbreaks. Children should receive two doses of the vaccine, one between 12 and 15 months of age and another when they are between 4 and 6 years old. However, the vaccine can be given to older children or adults, and those who are not vaccinated should talk to their medical provider about getting the vaccine.
In case of a measles outbreak, children who have not provided proof of immunization to their school may be temporarily excluded if there is a confirmed case of measles at that school. This is to prevent the spread of the disease. Parents or guardians can check their child's immunization status and print their certificate of immunization online at

Skagit County Public Health
Communicable Disease

Health Care Providers
Measles Evaluation Worksheet