PHILADELPHIA, PA — Philadelphia’s Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole announced that the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Pennsylvania Department of Health, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia are notifying people who may have been exposed to a positive measles case. Based on the epidemiological investigation, there is no threat to the public as any potential exposures would have taken place in the hospital.
“We believe there is no threat to the public associated with this case of measles,” said Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole. “But the threat of measles exposure in the United States has been growing over the last decade. We strongly encourage parents to follow the CDC’s immunization schedule and get their children fully vaccinated as soon as they are able. As with the COVID vaccine, the MMR vaccine is the best way to avoid serious complications of a vaccine-preventable disease.”
“If you have been properly immunized against measles, your risk of getting the disease is minimal,” Pennsylvania Department of Health Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said. “The MMR vaccine is another safe and effective vaccine to prevent severe illness. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health-care provider or call our toll-free hotline at 1-877-PA-HEALTH.”
Measles is a highly contagious but vaccine-preventable disease that spreads through coughing, sneezing or other contacts with the mucus or saliva of an infected person. Symptoms typically appear 1 to 3 weeks after exposure and include:
- 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 measles, mumps and rubella (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.
For more information on what to watch for with measles visit the CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/measles/symptoms/signs-symptoms.html.
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