The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) announced this week that a healthcare worker who is employed by Hudson Headwaters has been confirmed to have measles.
In addition to working at Hudson Headwaters, the infected individual spent time at a Saratoga County Home Depot, a Saratoga Springs Restaurant, and a Warren County medical practice between June 5 and June 8, 2017, potentially exposing others to measles. Individuals are not likely to contract measles if they are immune.
A person is unlikely to get measles if they were born before January 1, 1957, have received two doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine or have a lab test confirming immunity.
Anyone who visited the following locations may have been exposed:
- Home Depot (garden section of store), 3043 Route 50, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. between 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. on June 5, 2017.
- Hudson Headwaters Health Network – Warrensburg Health Center, 3767 Main St., Warrensburg, N.Y. between 7:25 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on June 6, 2017.
- Hudson Headwaters Health Network, 9 Carey Rd., Queensbury, N.Y. between 7:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. on June 7, 2017.
- Hudson Headwaters Health Network – Warrensburg Health Center, 3767 Main St., Warrensburg, N.Y. between 10:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. on June 7, 2017.
- Saratoga Stadium restaurant, 389 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. between 6:15 – 9:30 p.m. on June 7, 2017.
- Hudson Headwaters Health Network – West Mountain Health Services, 161 Carey Rd., Building 1, Queensbury, N.Y. between 7:45 – 10:35 a.m. on June 8, 2017.
These times reflect the period that the infected individual was in these areas and a two-hour period after the individual left the area, as the virus remains alive in air and on surfaces for up to two hours. This explains the overlap in times.
Those individuals lacking immunity or not sure if they have been vaccinated, should contact their health care provider if they develop measles symptoms. Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis or runny nose. Symptoms usually appear in 10-12 days after exposure. Individuals who may have been exposed and who lack immunity could begin experiencing symptoms at this time.
To prevent the spread of illness, the NYSDOH is advising individuals who may have been exposed and who have symptoms consistent with measles to contact their health care provider or a local emergency department before going for care. This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness.
After contacting their health care provider, symptomatic individuals should also contact the local health department.
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. Symptoms generally appear in two stages.
In the first stage, which lasts two to four days, the individual may have a runny nose, cough and a slight fever. Eyes may become reddened and sensitive to light while the fever gradually rises each day, often peaking as high as 103° to 105° F. Small bluish white spots surrounded by a reddish area may also appear on the inside of the mouth.
The second stage begins on the third to seventh day and consists of a red blotchy rash lasting five to six days. The rash usually begins on the face and then spreads downward and outward, reaching the hands and feet. The rash fades in the same order that it appeared, from head to extremities. A person can spread measles from four days before the onset of rash through four days after the rash begins. Although measles is usually considered a childhood disease, it can be contracted at any age.
The single best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated. Individuals should receive two doses of MMR vaccine to be protected. If a person is unsure if they are immune they should contact their healthcare provider. Typically, the first dose 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 State, 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.