NYS Health Dept. issues measles warning for 4 counties
The New York State Health Department has issued a warning about potential exposure to measles in Niagara, Genesee, Livingston and Chemung counties.
Officials say that an international traveler from Europe who has been confirmed to have measles visited multiple venues in New York State, potentially exposing others to measles on April 30, May 1 and May 2.
Officials say that anyone who visited the following locations may have been exposed:
- Old Country Buffet, 821 Country Route 64, Elmira, on April 30 from 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
- Ontario Travel Plaza on NYS Thruway (I-90) in Leroy, on April 30 from 4 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
- Sheraton Niagara Falls, 300 3rd Street, Niagara Falls, from 5:30 p.m. on April 30 to 9:30 a.m. on May 2
- Niagara Falls Urgent Care, 3117 Military Road Suite 2, Niagara Falls, on May 1 from 3 p.m.-6 p.m.
- Exit 5 on Interstate 390 in Dansville, on May 2 from 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
Those times reflect the period that the infected individual was in these areas and a two-hour period after the individual left the area, as the virus remains alive in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours.
Individuals are considered protected or immune to measles if they were born before 1957, have received two doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, have had measles disease or have a lab test confirming immunity. Individuals who are not immune to measles and were exposed are at risk for developing measles. The risk of developing measles is low for people who have been vaccinated or are immune.
To prevent the spread of illness, the Health Department is advising individuals who may have been exposed and who have symptoms consistent with measles to contact their health care provider, a local clinic or a local emergency department before going for care. This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus that is spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people. People first develop a fever, then may have a cough, runny nose and watery eyes, followed by appearance of the rash. People are considered infectious from four days before to four days after the appearance of the rash.
The single best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated. Individuals should receive two doses of MMR vaccine to be fully protected. If a person is unsure if they are immune they should contact their healthcare provider.
Typically, the first dose of MMR vaccine should be given at 12-15 months of age and the second dose should be given at 4-6 years of age (age of school entry), although individuals may also be vaccinated later in life. In New York State, measles immunization is required of children enrolled in schools, daycare and pre- kindergarten. Since August 1990, college students have also been required to demonstrate immunity against measles.
More information about measles can be found at https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2170.pdf