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Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Person with Contagious Measles Spent Time at a Lot of Well-Populated Places in Seattle and Pierce County Last Week

Posted by on Thu, Apr 3, 2014 at 1:48 PM

The Washington State Department of Health would like to let you know that "a person who was confirmed with measles traveled to several western Washington public locations while contagious" last week. From their news release:

The woman traveled to Seattle for a Kings of Leon concert at Key Arena on March 28, when she also was at the Best Western Loyal Inn and the Wasabi Bistro. The next day, she was at Beth’s Café, Aurora Suzuki, Starbucks at First and Pike, and the Pike Place Market. On those same dates she visited several locations in Pierce County, including Celebrity Cake Studio, LeMay Car Museum, Harmon Brewing Company, and some department stores. A complete list of the locations and the times of potential public exposure are available online.

This was also, as Slog Tipper Joe Szilagyi writes, "day 1 of Emerald City Comic Con with 80,000+ people downtown and in/near the Market, from nationwide and internationally."

The health department reminds you that most people are immune to measles because they've been vaccinated. But if you haven't been vaccinated or if you're not sure, you are instructed to contact a health care professional if you were in any of those locations at those times, especially if you start to show symptoms of measles, described as "an illness with fever or unexplained rash."

REALLY ACTUALLY DO IT, PEOPLE. As the health department points out, measles is really contagious: "If you're not vaccinated, you can get the measles just by walking into a room where someone with the disease has been in the past couple of hours."

Also: Get vaccinated, vaccinate your children, etc.


Comments (19) RSS

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Should my first reaction to this story be that this person was having more fun while having measles last week than I did being healthy?
Posted by SPG on April 3, 2014 at 2:07 PM · Report this
This is why parents who refuse to vaccinate their children are a threat to public health.

There's just NO good excuse to put others' at risk for a deadly disease.
Posted by elbowman on April 3, 2014 at 2:11 PM · Report this
Fuck people like her.

We need civil and criminal liability for people who willfully fail to vaccinate themselves and then harm others.
Posted by giffy on April 3, 2014 at 2:29 PM · Report this
Assuming of course she is not immunocompromised or has some other non-bullshit reason why she wasn't vaccinated.
Posted by giffy on April 3, 2014 at 2:35 PM · Report this
Folks, we don't know for sure that she is a crazy anti-vaxxer. Sometimes people are unlucky and their vaccination fails. For example, check out this Slate article about a NYC outbreak:…

Could be she was just unlucky and was around some anti-vax douche. Or she's immunocompromised, as mentioned above.

Of course, if she did deliberately forego vaccination and went around possibly knowing she was contagious, fuck her? Sure.
Posted by boyasunder on April 3, 2014 at 2:47 PM · Report this
Technically, if she knew she was sick, she violated state law by going out in public...even if she's immunocompromised....anything contagious counts.
Posted by krugan on April 3, 2014 at 2:59 PM · Report this
When we find this bint, we can have her arrested and charged with endangering the public, yes? Perhaps even some attempted murder if anybody else caught it?

Vaccinate your fucking children.
Posted by treehugger on April 3, 2014 at 4:07 PM · Report this
deadrose 8
IANAD, but I'm pretty sure you're contagious with measles before you start showing any symptoms at all, and the first symptoms can easily be mistaken for a cold.
Posted by deadrose on April 3, 2014 at 4:08 PM · Report this
@4: Even if she is immunocompromised, that's no excuse for her dumb ass to be out and about while sick and contagious with the measles.
Posted by treehugger on April 3, 2014 at 4:09 PM · Report this
originalcinner 10
I've had measles (as a little baby, pre-vaccination). It sucked. I nearly died. It's a miracle I didn't go blind or something. GET VACCINATED, PEOPLE.
Posted by originalcinner on April 3, 2014 at 4:11 PM · Report this
There's good reason to believe that this woman is an anti-vax shitbird rather than immunocompromised or unlucky. The reports say she caught it from her family, which is associated with the religious group that's the epicenter of the BC measles outbreak. And that religious group is one of the ones that eschew vaccination (hence the outbreak).

And seriously, fuck these people. How many outbreaks of entirely preventable diseases do we have to have before the anti-vaxxers give it up or are forced to give it up by public outrage?
Posted by rocketgeek on April 3, 2014 at 5:05 PM · Report this
sperifera 12
I absolutely believe in vaccinating and choose to do so (because Science). However that being said, fundamentally it's about freedom of choice, so keep your laws off my body.

Anti-vaxxers are maroons (IMHO), but being a maroon is not against the law.
Posted by sperifera on April 3, 2014 at 11:01 PM · Report this
It's possible this woman didn't have symptoms until after she was out and about in public. There's no reason to condemn her as some douche going around knowing she had the measles. That shit is contagious before you know you have it.

She might be immuno-compromised. She might be old enough that her vaccine was out of date. Or she's just really unlucky. She might have gotten it from some crazy anti-vaxxer's kid, but blaming her for getting a disease is kind of buillshit without knowing details.
Posted by J from Oregon on April 3, 2014 at 11:41 PM · Report this
mr. herriman 14
agree with everyone above who said her infection might not be due to her own negligence, and it could be that she didn't know yet that she was infected when she was out and around. vaccinated people do catch things, and measles does incubate a while before symptoms appear. and she must have been the one who provided all the details about where she'd been, so at least she's cooperating with the health department.

having said all that, i absolutely put the blame for this, and all the other recent outbreaks, squarely on the antivaxxers, because this shit had been damn near eradicated in the US before their stupid hippie anti-science bullshit brought it back into circulation.

vaccinate your goddamn kids, people!! this is out and out lunacy. the outbreak stories are coming at a pretty rapid clip - i think there's going to be a very big problem, and very soon.
Posted by mr. herriman on April 4, 2014 at 1:48 AM · Report this
@12 Until your (or your kid's) personal freedoms put the lives of others in danger. That is generally where the line is drawn.

We still have iodine in our salt supply, and it's not even to correct a lethal illness. Weird how no one is campaigning against that. Maybe because goiters are unsightly? Having a slightly dumber kid worries people more than having a slightly more likely to die of preventable disease kid? I wonder if there were campaigns against it at the time.

I also wonder if anyone has done a study on antivac parents and fear of needles. I'd bet good money on significant overlap.

Posted by gnot on April 4, 2014 at 3:42 AM · Report this
>>...fundamentally it's about freedom of choice, so keep your laws off my body.

@12 if we were talking about abortion, I would agree. We're not. We're talking about herd immunity. Herd immunity protects the immuno-comprised and people who can't get vaccinated due to allergies or resistance.…

Get vaccinated, people.
Posted by Vaccinate yourself, vaccinate your kids on April 4, 2014 at 4:39 AM · Report this
mr. herriman 17
I fully support legally requiring vaccines. You are required by law to provide food, shelter and education for your children, and it's against the law to put other peoples' safety at risk. Vaccines fall squarely in with all this. I get your point, @12, about forced medical procedures, but this is not the slippery slope you fear it to be. Akin to fluoridating the water supply or adding vitamins to milk and flour, it's good public policy to require vaccinations.
Posted by mr. herriman on April 4, 2014 at 10:04 AM · Report this
Note that news reports out of Seattle state that the woman didn't know she had measles until later -- she was diagnosed _after_ her trip, not before it.

And no, you really can't get measles by walking through a room a few hours later. The virus can live on *surfaces* for a couple hours. You need to touch those surfaces and then put your fingers in your nose or mouth to become infected. (Yes, I know the website is claiming you can; they're lying. Check out the CDC for better information on measles contagion.)
Posted by CallieLyton on April 5, 2014 at 3:34 PM · Report this
@15 I wouldn't be so sure. Google "iodine conspiracy" and you'll get some pretty whacked-out shit. Granted some of it is probably trolling, but conspiracy theorists have no logical truth test, so they're bound to find a conspiracy in anything.
Posted by tdc on April 5, 2014 at 11:42 PM · Report this

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