LANCASTER COU NTY, Pa.– UPDATE: A test of possible Measles exposure in Lancaster County has come back negative.
The press secretary from the Department of Health gave FOX43 this message:
After further analysis, the tests done on the suspected measles case came back negative. The department works to balance the need for public notification and the time it takes to acquire final test results. In the majority of infectious disease cases, suspected cases come back positive, but not always. We encourage everyone to make sure their vaccinations are up-to-date and they are protected, and that includes the flu shot as we head into flu season.
PREVIOUSLY: Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today alerted residents of Gap, Paradise and Ronks, Lancaster County, that an individual with a suspected case of measles visited local stores and offices. The individual may have exposed others to the disease.
“Over the weekend, we alerted residents that this patient visited the emergency department at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Dauphin County with a suspected case of measles,” Dr. Levine said. “The patient, a Franklin County resident, also visited locations in Lancaster county and we need to make the public aware they may have been exposed. If you have been properly immunized against measles, your risk of getting the disease is minimal; however, if you believe you might have been exposed to measles and experience symptoms, please contact your health-care provider or call our toll-free hotline at 1-877-PA-HEALTH.”
Exposures may have occurred at the following times and locations on August 16:
- Cornerstone Retreat, 5275 Lincoln Highway, Gap, Lancaster County, from approximately 1:30 – 4:30 PM;
- Wawa, 787 Pa Route 41, Gap, Lancaster County, from approximately 2:30 – 5:15 PM;
- Belmont Fabrics 145 Belmont Road, Paradise, Lancaster County, from approximately 3:30 – 6:00 PM
- Beiler’s Manufacturing and Supply 3025 Irishtown Road, Ronks, Lancaster County, from approximately 4:40 – 7:00 PM
The Department of Health will be holding free measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines at clinics for anyone who may have been exposed and is not vaccinated. The vaccination clinics are planned:
- Tuesday, August 28 at the Lancaster County State Health Center, 1661 Old Philadelphia Pike, Lancaster PA, from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM;
- Wednesday, August 29 at the Dauphin County State Health Center, 30 Kline Plaza, Harrisburg, PA, from 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM;
- Wednesday, August 29 at the Franklin County State Health Center, 375 Floral Ave. Suite 1, Chambersburg, PA, from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM; and
- Thursday, August 30 at St Paul Luther Church 1258 Newport Road, Penryn, PA, from 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM.
Residents can call 1-877-PA-HEALTH if they would like to schedule an appointment during the clinics, although appointments are not necessary.
Measles is a highly contagious but vaccine-preventable disease that spreads through coughing, sneezing or other contact with the mucus or saliva of an infected person. Symptoms typically appear 1 to 3 weeks after infection and include: rash; high fever; cough; and red, watery eyes.
According to Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) those most at-risk are:
- Infants less than one year of age who are too young to have received the MMR vaccine;
- Individuals who refused vaccination; and
- Individuals from parts of the world where there is low vaccination coverage or circulating measles.
Additionally, even if you were vaccinated, you may still be at risk if you were vaccinated with an inactivated vaccine, which was used from 1963 through 1967, and have not been revaccinated; or you were born after 1957 and have only received one dose of MMR vaccine.
SOURCE: Department of Health