The New York State Department of Health announced today that an international traveler from Europe who has been confirmed to have measles visited multiple venues in New York State potentially exposing others to measles on April 30th, May 1st and May 2nd.
Anyone who visited the following locations may have been exposed:
- Old Country Buffet, 821 County Road 64, Elmira, on April 30th between 1 and 4 p.m.;
- Ontario Travel Plaza on NYS Thruway (I-90) in Le Roy, on April 30th between 4 and 6:30 p.m.;
- Sheraton Niagara Falls, 300 3rd St., Niagara Falls, from 5:30 p.m. on April 30th to 9:30 a.m. on May 2nd;
- Niagara Falls Urgent Care, 3117 Military Road, Suite 2, Niagara Falls, on May 1st between 3 and 6 p.m.;
- Exit 5 on Interstate 390 in Dansville, on May 2nd between 9:30 a.m. and noon.
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 the air and on surfaces for up to two hours.
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. Individuals 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 individuals 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. Individuals should contact their health care provider if they develop measles symptoms.
To prevent the spread of illness, the Department is advising individuals 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 at these facilities from being exposed to the illness.
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. People are considered infectious from four days before to four days after the appearance of the rash.
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 4 to 6 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 prekindergarten. 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