Pennsylvania Health Officials Identified Measles Source

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The Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Allegheny County Health Department, in coordination with UPMC’s Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, today reported the source of the recent measles outbreak was a traveler from India who arrived in the U.S. on March 7, 2009.

The number of confirmed measles cases in southwestern Pennsylvania now totals six, with additional probable cases awaiting confirmation.

State and county investigators and staff from numerous health care facilities have contacted thousands of people who might have been exposed to measles to assess each person’s risk. While most of those exposed have been found to be immune to the disease, some non-immune persons have been asked to stay home until they are cleared of risk.

As previously reported, initial exposures occurred at Children’s Hospital. In addition, exposures may have occurred at the following locations and times:

Children’s Hospital Emergency Department and waiting area:

* Between 6 p.m. on March 27 and 3 a.m. on March 28
* Between 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on March 28

Alle-Kiski Hospital, Emergency Department, Main Lobby and ground floor public areas:

* Between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on March 28

EMS-I Conference at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, in the Snowflake Room and the main dining room area:

* Between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on March 26.

Allegheny County Port Authority bus routes:

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* 28X (Airport Flyer) -- March 24, between 10 a.m. and noon; March 28, between 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
* 33X (West Busway All Stops) -- March 27, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
* 71A -- March 24, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; March 27, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Health officials believe there is no current risk of exposure at any of these places.

A list of exposure sites is available at www.health.state.pa.us and www.achd.net. This information will be updated at 4 p.m. each weekday, for as long as necessary.

The following groups of people are susceptible to measles infection:

* Infants who are too young to have been immunized (less than one year of age).

* Persons who were vaccinated with an inactivated vaccine, which was used from 1963 through 1967, and have not been revaccinated.

* Some persons born after 1957 who have only received one dose of vaccine.

* Those who have refused vaccination.

* Those from areas of the world where there is low vaccine coverage or circulating measles.

* Immune-compromised persons, such as organ transplant recipients, patients receiving chemotherapy and people living with HIV/AIDS who have impaired immune systems.

Health officials recommend the following to anyone who may have been exposed during the periods mentioned above:

* If you or your children are susceptible to measles and have had symptoms of fever and rash any time since March 15, contact your primary health care provider immediately and let them know you may have been exposed.
* If you or your children are susceptible to measles and become ill with symptoms of measles from one to two weeks after possible exposure, contact your primary health care provider immediately and let them know you may have been exposed.

Because measles is highly contagious, individuals should call their health care provider to inform them of possible exposure before going to their office in order to avoid exposing other patients.

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