A traveler from Europe may have exposed people to measles in Chemung, Genesee, Livingston and Niagara counties, the New York state Department of Health warned Saturday.
The traveler, who has a confirmed case of measles, visited multiple sites in upstate New York on April 30, and May 1-2.
Anyone who visited the following locations on these dates and times could have been exposed:
- Old Country Buffet, 821 Country Route 64, Elmira, between 1 and 4 p.m. April 30.
- Ontario Travel Plaza on the New York state Thruway in Le Roy, between 4 and 6:30 p.m. April 30.
- Sheraton Niagara Falls, 300 3rd Street, Niagara Falls, from 5:30 p.m. April 30 to 9:30 a.m. on May 2.
- Niagara Falls Urgent Care, 3117 Military Road. Suite 2, Niagara Falls, between 3 and 6 p.m. May 1.
- Exit 5 on Interstate 390 in Dansville, from 9:30 a.m. to noon May 2.
The times reflect the period that the infected person was in these areas and a two-hour period after the individual left the area. The virus remains alive in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours.
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.
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.
People are considered infectious from four days before to four days after the appearance of the rash. People 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.
All people who were exposed, especially those without immunity or who are not sure if they have been vaccinated, should monitor for symptoms of measles. Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis or runny nose. Symptoms usually appear 10-12 days after exposure but may appear as early as 7 days and as late as 21 days after exposure.
You should contact your doctor if you develop measles symptoms.
To prevent the spread of illness, the health department is advising people 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 from being exposed to the illness.
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 four to six years of age (age of school entry), although individuals may also be vaccinated later in life.
In New York, 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.
Health care providers should report all suspected cases of measles to their local health department.
More information about measles can be found at https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2170.pdf
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