A vaccinated nurse at Seattle Children’s Hospital was recently diagnosed with measles after having been exposed to a child who tested positive for measles infection. The child had been in the hospital’s emergency room on June 22, June 25 and June 26, 2019 but only showed symptoms of measles during the third visit. Hospital officials said the child immediately had been put in isolation.
The nurse, who is in her 20s and works in the inpatient units, had received two MMR vaccinations and had worn “appropriate personal protective equipment” while caring for the pediatric patient but came down with the disease anyway. An article in The Seattle Times noted that she was “potentially contagious while working from July 8 through July 11.”
According to the website Nurse.org, “Patients who are diagnosed with measles are required to be isolated in an airborne infection isolation room (AIIR) for four days. Staff who care for the patient should wear N95 masks.” The masks are more technically known as N95 particulate filtering facepiece respirators. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), the N95s are the most commonly used particulate filtering facepiece respirators in the U.S.
Hospital officials reportedly notified patients, families and staff who “may have been exposed, providing information about exposure dates, disease symptoms” and offered “preventative treatment if necessary.”
This measles case in a vaccinated nurse was the 11th case of measles reported in King County, Washington since January 2019. So far this year, there have been a total of 1,182 confirmed cases of measles in the Unites States.