PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Officials with the Allegheny County Health Department, investigating after a local man was diagnosed with a case of measles, are urging anyone who may have been exposed to report it.
Health officials say the patient’s co-workers and doctors’ offices have been notified; however, they are worried others may have been exposed to the highly-contagious virus at three other locations.
Those places include:
- Blair Auto Sales at 132 Coxcomb Hill in New Kensington on April 30 from noon to 6 p.m.
- Tomasino’s Restaurant at 260 Little Deer Creek Road in Indiana Township on April 30 from 4 to 9 p.m.
- Advanced Auto Parts at 2407 Freeport Road in Harmar on April 30 from 6 to 9 p.m.
Epidemiologists say this one is a rather unique case.
“We are quite surprised about this case because this case has not traveled outside of western Pennsylvania, so we are not sure where he got measles,” Dr. Kristen Mertz, an epidemiologist, said.
A man in his 30s who had received his measles-mumps-rubella vaccines, known as MMR, somehow contracted the virus and went to see his doctor, not knowing what he had.
On Wednesday, the man’s illness was confirmed as a case of the measles.
The Allegheny County Health Department is getting the word out.
“People who are born after 1957, if they did not get two vaccinations, they could certainly be at risk,” said Dr. Karen Hacker, the director of the Allegheny County Health Department.
According to the Health Department, measles symptoms begin seven to 21 days after exposure and include runny nose, red and watery eyes, coughing and high fever.
Measles patients will get a raised, red rash after four days. It starts on the face, spreads down the body and usually lasts four to seven days.
Health Department officials are urging anyone who visited those three locations during the times listed, and may be susceptible to measles and have become ill with symptoms to contact your doctor. But do not go directly to your doctor’s office or the emergency room.
“It is not typically lethal,” said Dr. Hacker. “Many of us, when we were young, had measles and were fine and survived, but it can make you very ill.”
Specifically for those with compromised immune systems, pregnant women and infants.
Measles is spread by infected droplets during sneezing or coughing, touching contaminated objects, and direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions.
Listen to Dr. Hacker on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA:
Health officials also say those infected droplets and secretions can remain in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours.
On Thursday, Tomasino’s owner told KDKA that all employees have been checked out and all have either been previously immunized or had the virus as a child.