Vaccinated Nurse Contracts the Measles from Infected Child

Vaccinated Nurse Contracts the Measles from Infected Child July 17, 2019
photo of a nurse with child – stock image – Shutterstock

A vaccinated nurse in Seattle contracted the measles after caring for an infected child at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Seattle Children’s Hospital shared the news on its website along with details about how the nurse contracted the virus. The nurse is the tenth documented case of measles in King County, Washington since the virus began spreading in June.

According to Seattle Children’s Hospital, a nurse contracted the measles virus earlier this month. At the beginning of July, the nurse cared for a patient diagnosed with the measles. The patient was being treated in isolation in the intensive care unit. While she helped the patient, the hospital says the nurse wore all the appropriate protective equipment. Additionally, the hospital said that the nurse had been vaccinated for the measles.

Despite her vaccination status, the nurse developed the virus. According to the CDC, the measles vaccine is 97% effective in preventing the virus. Vaccinated individuals that contract the virus typically develop a more mild form of the illness. The measles is so contagious that 90% of people exposed to it will develop the virus if they are not vaccinated.

Unfortunately, the nurse did not realize she was contagious and worked two-night shifts following her exposure. As a result, Seattle Children’s Hospital is notifying all patients that the nurse treated during those shifts.

According to the King County Health Department, there have been eleven cases of the measles in Seattle this year. In the month of July, the county reports that three people have contracted the virus including the nurse.

For the past year, the United States has been in the midst of the largest outbreak of measles since the virus was eradicated in 2000. The CDC reports that 1,123 cases of measles have been reported this year. The majority of the cases are related to two outbreaks in the state of New York.

Washington state has had multiple outbreaks this year. Earlier in the year, 71 people contracted the measles in Clark County Washington. The CDC reports that 85 total cases of measles in Washington. In 2019, 28 states have reported cases of the measles. To date, there are only three outbreaks in the United States.

After a rough year, the new cases of measles are slowing down. Last week the United States added only 14 total cases. Outbreaks in New York contributed to the bulk of the cases in the country. However, New York State passed a law removing religious exemptions for vaccines. Additionally, New York City imposed fines on parents that refused to vaccinate their children. The efforts taken by New York have nearly ended the outbreak that has been on-going since September 2018.

In order to prevent new cases, the CDC is encouraging all travelers to receive measles vaccinations if they visit areas with active outbreaks. The biggest threat to the United States are active outbreaks in multiple countries in Europe, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Die Anyway

    > “since the virus was eradicated in 2000.”

    Obviously, it wasn’t.

  • HematitePersuasion

    Those persons fouling public discourse over the safety of vaccinations (news flash: very, very safe!) have much to answer for.

  • RainbowPhoenix

    There’s no such thing as a 100% effective form of medicine.

  • persephone

    If only there were.

  • Quinsha

    What gets me is that my spouse and I, after finding out that it is best to get an mmr booster if you were vaccinated before the 1980’s, had to jump through some insurance hoops to get Permission to have the vaccine. We are going to an airshow in Wisconsin next week, stopping at Chicago on the way through. Since we don’t want to pick up measles and possible spread it, we decided to get the vaccine.

    Sure we can pay for it out of pocket at Rite Aide, but for the two of us that costs $400.

    So we contacted our doctor two months ago and they had to put in paperwork to our insurance company for permission. We got the permission 3 weeks ago. They then have to contact the people that ship the vaccines to them and that was supposed to be in 2 days ago. The vaccines did not show up, but we were assured that the vaccines are supposed to be in tomorrow….

    So if you happen to be past a certain age, it is hard to get the darn vaccines.

    As it is, I did pay for my Tdap out of pocket when the insurance company refused to do so. I was NOT going to go near my newly born great-nephew without it.

  • Friend

    Good for you, for taking responsibility!

  • RainbowPhoenix

    Well, until there is we just have to use the closest thing available.

  • WallofSleep

    It’s flippin’ unconscionable and downright stucking fupid for a health insurance company to refuse to pay for vaccinations. They’ll wind up spending more money in the long run, being penny wise and pound foolish like that.

  • Delta

    IIRC, “eradicated” in this case means that there wasn’t a single reported case of it in the country for at least a year.

  • otrame

    My insurance company strongly encourages vaccination. They pay the whole cost. I just walk into my local large grocery store and ask. No cost. I got my DPT renewed recently, mostly for the tetanus. I used to get a tetanus booster every couple of years because I had a high risk occupation, but I’ve been retired for a while now.

    Also, if you are about 40 or over, getting another pertussis vacc is a good idea. The immunity doesn’t hold on that one as well as others. I’ve seen what whooping cough does to babies too young to be vaccinated. I’m not taking any chances.

  • Matt Brooker (Syncretocrat)

    Because of the natural variations in human immune systems, any given vaccine won’t take in a small proportion of the population, and it will only give partial protection for another segment. That’s why it’s critically important to get the vaccination rate up high enough for herd immunity; it’s not just people who can’t be vaccinated who need that protection.

  • Lisa Cybergirl

    Yep. I have an immune disorder that means a lot of vaccines just don’t
    take for me. The flu vaccine is good, but pneumonia vaccines are
    useless. I had measles twice as a kid, so I’m probably still eligible
    for it.

  • Quinsha

    We got our mmr vaccine today and asked what exactly the holdup was. It was not the insurance company, it was the physician’s group that dragged their feet. They were the ones wanting to give out permission and have the vaccines shipped to the doctors office to be administered. The medical assistant told me that outside of that one physician’s group, her other patients can go down to the pharmacy to get the vaccines

  • Joe Biggs

    health care shud come from sin taxes nd payroll taxes…everybody in …as per Canada and Europe ..

  • Joe Biggs

    health should come from sin taxes abd payroll taxes as in mosy civilized countries….everybody in ..

  • Astrin Ymris

    International travel. Just because there haven’t been any U.S. cases for a year doesn’t mean that it isn’t present in foreign countries. The measles virus can live for up to two hours in air someone has coughed in.

  • hoppytoad79

    My cousin, Emma, has all her vaccines but she caught whooping cough. No vaccine is 100%, but I’ll take being vaccinated and protected to a high degree, and knowing that if I do catch [disease] it’ll be a milder case that doesn’t last as long, over no protection and 100% risk of suffering the worst of what [disease] has to offer.