PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was another normal day on the job for Alisa Sokol at the Milky Way restaurant in Squirrel Hill, but measles has been the talk of the day.
“They called us up to let us know that someone was exposed here. That’s how we found out. They told us there’s nothing we can really do,” Alosa Sokol, manager at Milky Way Restaurant, said.
This is what doctors told Sokol after they learned Milky Way may have been exposed to measles on April 24. The same goes for Randy Nelson at the Red White and Blue Thrift Store on 65.
“The health department contacted me about 8:30 yesterday morning and explained to me that someone was here on April 24,” Nelson said.
Nelson said he told his staff what the health department said.
“He told them if they weren’t sure they were vaccinated, they need to get in touch with their parents,” Nelson said.
The National Aviary was the third location recently announced for potential measles exposure, but doctors say these places are safe to go to.
“When someone with measles is in a building, the measles virus can affect them if they are there at same time or up to two hours after that person leaves,” Kristen Mertz, an epidemiologist with the Allegheny County Health Department, said.
- Allegheny County Health Dept. Warns Of Additional Locations For Potential Measles Exposures
- Local Urgent Care Clinics Seeing Spike In Calls Following Confirmed Cases Of Measles
- Allegheny Co. Now Has 5 Confirmed Cases Of Measles, Officials Recommend Checking Immunity Status
- Measles Outbreak Confirmed In Allegheny County With Potential Exposure Reported At Pittsburgh International Airport
- Local Doctors Flooded With Calls Following Measles Diagnosis In Pittsburgh
- Health Department: Allegheny Co. Resident Diagnosed With Measles
- More related stories
A total of five cases of measles have been confirmed in the area so far this year. If you contract the virus, the side effects long-term could be serious.
“Complications include ear infections, pneumonia and encephalitis. Before the vaccine, we were getting 400 to 500 deaths a year in the United States. Now, about one to three out of every 1,000 in the U.S. will die from measles,” Mertz said.
This is why getting vaccinated isn’t just important for you, but for others, too, that may not be able to get the vaccine due to a medical condition. If you haven’t been vaccinated and want to, you do have some options.
“If you want to get the vaccine, contact your healthcare provider. They have it in stock and we have a clinic here,” Mertz said.
The health department is holding a vaccination clinic Wednesday and is targeting people who are a higher risk of contracting measles. This group includes people who are 12 months to 61 years old who have not been vaccinated. It will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at the Homewood-Brushton YMCA. There will be a limited supply, so keep in mind, this is first-come, first-served and it is free.
You can also get the vaccine at Walgreens or CVS. Both pharmacies said people have been asking questions about the measles vaccine. In fact, a Walgreens spokesperson said its stores have been experiencing great demand for the vaccine across the country.