Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Six infants may have been exposed to the measles in a recent outbreak in the Spokane area.

It’s the first measles outbreak in Spokane in two decades. Both cases are in unvaccinated adults. Both are recovering.

But the potential infection of infants before the cases were discovered is especially worrisome, says Dorothy MacEachern . She’s an epidemiologist with the Spokane Regional Health District. The infants were too young to be vaccinated -- the measles vaccine is usually done at 12 months -- and MacEachern says measles in babies can lead to ear infections, pneumonia …

The Centers for Disease Control says a measles outbreak that spread from California's Disneyland has now reached 14 states and infected 102 people. No cases have been confirmed in Idaho, but many neighboring states are on the list including Utah, Washington and Oregon.

"We worry that it’s only a matter of time before we do see measles cases in Idaho," says Dr. Christine Hahn, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare's medical director for the division of public health.

Jennifer Morrow / Flickr

The University of Idaho recently confirmed ten mumps cases and is investigating 20 more.

Washington State University is advising students to update their MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine over the holiday break. Students who have not yet been vaccinated should receive two vaccines, 28 days apart. If you've only had one MMR vaccine, get a second.

If you went to see the Kings of Leon concert on March 28 in Seattle, let's hope you came home with nothing but great memories.

Heinz F. Eichenwald, MD CDC

A big measles outbreak in British Columbia has crossed over the border into the American northwest. 


Public health officials say recent measles cases in the Northwest highlight the need to be vaccinated against the infection. While the highly-contagious illness remains rare, the Centers for Disease Control is reporting an uptick nationally in the number of cases this year.