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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Allegheny County Health Department says someone in the county has been diagnosed with measles and may have exposed others.
The person may have potentially exposed others to the measles after riding a Port Authority bus between Oakland and Squirrel Hill and visiting the Carnegie Mellon University campus.
The Health Department is urging anyone who is susceptible to measles, that may have been in the same location during the indicated times, and became ill with symptoms of measles between now and Feb. 15, to contact their primary care provider immediately.
The resident diagnosed with measles was potentially contagious from Jan. 17-25. The individual rode Allegheny County buses between Oakland and Squirrel Hill multiple times and may have used the bus routes 61A, 61B, 61C, 61D.
Measles is highly contagious, but symptoms don’t begin until 7-to-21 days after exposure. It is caused by a virus. Symptoms include a runny nose, red and watery eyes, cough and a high fever. After four days, a raised, red rash begins on the face and spreads downward to the neck, trunk and extremities. The rash usually lasts 4-7 days.
There have been no additional cases reported.
The following groups of individuals are susceptible to becoming infected with measles: the very young or old, those with heart or lung issues, or those whose immune systems are compromised due to disease or medication.
An individual with the measles can spread the virus to others for four days before and four days after the rash begins. It is spread by infected droplets during sneezing or coughing, touching contaminated objects, and direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions. Infected droplets and secretions remain in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours.
Complications from measles can include ear infection, diarrhea, pneumonia, encephalitis and even death. Measles can cause miscarriages or premature delivery in pregnant women. The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is given to toddlers when they are 12-15 months of age, and a second MMR vaccine is required for all Pennsylvania school children.
Individuals who have only received one dose of the vaccine, instead of the recommended two doses, may still be susceptible to the virus.
The MMR vaccine can also help prevent infection if it is given within three days of exposure.