ALBANY – The New York State Department of Health announced this week that a healthcare worker employed by Hudson Headwaters has been confirmed to have measles. The highly contagious respiratory disease causes a rash and fever and can be passed from one person to another just by being in a room where someone with measles coughed or sneezed.
Symptoms appear about 10 to 12 days after a person is exposed to measles. The infected individual, in addition to working at Hudson Headwaters, spent time at a Saratoga County Home Depot, the Stadium Restaurant on Broadway, and a Warren County medical practice between June 5 and June 8.
The state DOH warns anyone who visited the following locations may have been exposed: Home Depot (garden section of store), 3043 Route 50, Wilton-Saratoga Springs border between noon and 2 p.m. on June 5; Saratoga Stadium restaurant, 389 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, between 6:15 - 9:30 p.m. on June 7, and the following three Hudson Headwaters Health Network locations: Warrensburg Health Center, 3767 Main St., between 7:25 a.m. - 7 p.m. on June 6, or between 10:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. on June 7; Hudson Headwaters Health Network, 9 Carey Rd., Queensbury, between 7 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. on June 7; Hudson Headwaters Health Network West Mountain Health Services, 161 Carey Rd., Building 1, Queensbury, between 7:45 – 10:35 a.m. on June 8.
The 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. A person with measles can pass it to others from four days before a rash appears through the fourth day after the rash appears.
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.
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. Although measles is usually considered a childhood disease, it can be contracted at any age.
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.
To prevent the spread of illness, the state DOH advises anyone who may have been exposed and who has 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.
A person is unlikely to get measles if they were born before Jan. 1, 1957, have received two doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine or have a lab test confirming immunity.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 100 people from 11 states – including New York - were from Jan. 1 to May 20, 2017 reported to have measles. In 2016, those reports numbered 70 people, and in 2015 -188 people. In 2014, the United States experienced a record number of measles cases, with 667 cases from 27 states reported to CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases - marking the greatest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000.
For more information about measles, go to: https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2170/.