Measles

Press Release

Health Alert 

FAQ PDF Version

Situation Overview 

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. 

The Erie County Department of Health has confirmed that an international traveler treated at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital has been diagnosed with measles.  This individual has visited multiple venues in Erie County potentially exposing others to measles between December 4, 2018 and December 11, 2018. 

Locations of Potential Exposures 

Anyone who visited the following locations in Erie County during the dates and time listed below may have been exposed to measles. 

All individuals who were exposed to measles and who do not know their vaccination status, are immunocompromised or are pregnant should contact their health care provider immediately to discuss their situation.  

To prevent the spread of illness, please contact your health care provider (doctor’s office, clinic, hospital) BEFORE going for care. This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness. 

Locations, Dates and Times: 

  • Catholic Charities,  20 Herkimer Street, Buffalo on 12/4/2018 between 11:00am and 5:00pm
  • Erie County Department of Health Clinic, 608 William Street, Buffalo on 12/4/2018 between 11:30am and 4:00pm
  • Sweet Home High School, 1909 Sweet Home Road, Amherst on 12/5/2018 between 5:00pm and 10:30pm
  • Erie County Department of Social Services, 158 Pearl Street, Buffalo on 12/6/2018 between 8:00am and 1:00pm
  • Erie County Department of Health Clinic, 608 William Street, Buffalo on 12/6/2018 between 10:30am and 2:00pm
  • Catholic Charities,  20 Herkimer Street, Buffalo on 12/6/2018 between 11:30am and 3:00pm
  • Erie County Department of Social Services, 158 Pearl Street, Buffalo on 12/6/2018 between 12:30pm and 4:30pm
  • Aldi, 4259 Transit Road, Buffalo on 12/6/2018 between 5:00pm and 9:00pm
  • Best Buy, 4401 Transit Road, Williamsville on 12/6/2018 between 6:00pm and 9:15pm
  • Marshalls, 2383 Maple Road, Williamsville on 12/6/2018 between 6:00pm and 10:00pm
  • Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital Emergency Department, 1540 Maple Road, Williamsville on 12/10/2018 between 9:00am and 5:30pm 
Immunity (Protection against disease) 

Individuals are considered protected or immune to measles if they:

  • Born before 1957, or
  • Received two doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, or
  • Had measles disease, or
  • Have a lab test confirming immunity (titer) 

Typically, the first dose of MMR vaccine 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. 

Symptoms 

Measles Symptoms include: a fever, rash, cough, pink, watery eyes, conjunctivitis or runny nose, followed by appearance of a rash. 

Measles Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

How long is a person with measles contagious? 

A person with measles can pass it to others from 4 days before a rash appears through the 4th day after the rash appears. 

How is measles spread? 

Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing. Also, measles virus can live for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed. If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch the infected surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected. Also, infected people can spread measles to others from four days before through four days after the rash appears.  Measles is a disease of humans; measles virus is not spread by any other animal species.

What are the complications of measles? 

A small number of people who get measles will need to be hospitalized and could die. Many people with measles have complications such as diarrhea, ear infections or pneumonia. They can also get a brain infection that can lead to permanent brain damage. Measles during pregnancy increases the risk of early labor, miscarriage and low birth weight infants. Measles can be more severe in people with weak immune systems. 

Is there a treatment for measles? 

There is no treatment but acetaminophen and ibuprofen may be taken to reduce a fever. People with measles also need bed rest and fluids. They also may need treatment for complications such as diarrhea, an ear infection or pneumonia. 

If my child or another family member has been exposed to measles, what should I do? 

Immediately call your local health department, doctor or clinic for advice. Never been vaccinated? Get the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine within 3 days of being exposed. This may prevent you from getting measles. Some people may need an immune globulin shot -- antibodies to the measles virus. It should be given within 6 days of being exposed. This may prevent or lessen the severity of measles. 

What is the best way to prevent measles? 

Getting the measles vaccine is the best way to prevent measles. 

What are the MMR vaccine requirements for school attendance? 

For pre-kindergarten including day care, Head Start or nursery school: one dose of MMR vaccine

Kindergarten to grade 12: two doses of MMR vaccine

College: two doses of MMR vaccine 

How effective is the measles vaccine? 

The measles vaccine is very effective. One dose of measles vaccine is about 93% effective at preventing measles if exposed to the virus. Two doses are about 97% effective. 

Could I still get measles if I am fully vaccinated? 

Very few people—about three out of 100—who get two doses of measles vaccine will still get measles if exposed to the virus. Experts aren’t sure why. It could be that their immune systems didn’t respond as well as they should have to the vaccine. But the good news is, fully vaccinated people who get measles are much more likely to have a milder illness. And fully vaccinated people are also less likely to spread the disease to other people, including people who can’t get vaccinated because they are too young or have weakened immune systems. 

Do I ever need a booster vaccine? 

No. CDC considers people who received two doses of measles vaccine as children according to the U.S. vaccination schedule protected for life, and they do not ever need a booster dose.

Adults need at least one dose of measles vaccine, unless they have evidence of immunity. Adults who are going to be in a setting that poses a high risk for measles transmission should make sure they have had two doses separated by at least 28 days. These adults include students at post-high school education institutions, healthcare personnel, and international travelers.

If you’re not sure whether you were vaccinated, talk with your doctor. More information about who needs measles vaccine

Additional Resources 

Contact

Phone: (716) 858-7690

Fax: (716) 858-8701

Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH)
95 Franklin Street
Buffalo, New York 14202

ECDOH Locations

Western New York 211