Health Team

After overseas trip, Wake resident could have spread measles at home

Posted August 2, 2016

— Wake County public health officials said Tuesday that a local resident has contracted measles.

The unidentified patient showed symptoms of measles after returning from travel in Europe, officials said.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms begin with a fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes, followed by a rash that typically appears first on the face, along the hairline or behind the ears and then spreads to the rest of the body.

People with measles are usually contagious for the four days before the rash starts, the day it first appears and the following four days. Public health officials said area residents might have been exposed to measles at the following locations:

  • Raleigh-Durham International Airport, 2 to 4:30 p.m. July 24
  • Hunter Street Park, 1250 Ambergate Station in Apex, 6 to 8 p.m. July 24 and 9 to 10:30 a.m. July 25 and July 26
  • Cary YMCA, 101 YMCA Drive in Cary, 12:15 to 4 p.m. July 25 and 7:15 to 10:15 p.m. July 26
  • Lee Residence Hall at North Carolina State University, 2500 Sullivan Drive in Raleigh, 8 a.m. to noon July 25
  • UPS Store, 2054 Kildaire Farm Road in Cary, 2 to 4:30 p.m. and 4:45 to 7 p.m. July 26
  • Coastal Federal Credit Union, 2024 Kildaire Farm Road in Cary, 2 to 4:30 p.m. July 26
  • SportHQ, 107 Edinburgh South Drive, Suite 100A, in Cary, 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. July 28-29.]
  • NextCare Urgent Care, 1110 Kildaire Farm Road in Cary, 1:50 to 4:50 p.m. July 31
  • WakeMed Cary Emergency Department, 1900 Kildaire Farm Road in Cary, 3 to 9:30 p.m. July 31

Complications from measles can include pneumonia, diarrhea and ear infections. Severe complications can be fatal. Infants, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are more at risk of complications from measles, officials said.

Immunization is the best protection from measles. Two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine are about 97 percent effective at preventing a person from contracting the disease.

'If you put 10 people in the room who are not vaccinated and expose them to a case of measles, nine of them would become sick so that kind of tells you the importance of getting vaccinated," said Kimberly McDonald with Wake County Human Services.

Anyone experiencing symptoms of measles who hasn't been vaccinated is advised to call a doctor immediately. Wake County residents with questions about measles can call a public health specialist at 919-728-5233.


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  • Susan Olvera Aug 3, 2016
    user avatar

    It's very risky for WRAL to encourage only the unvaccinated who show measles symptoms to seek medical symptoms. Our state keeps excellent records on vaccine preventable diseases and in 2013 we experienced an "outbreak" after a taveler entered from India spread measles to 22 other people in this state. While the probability of contracting the measles is much lower if you've had the MMR vaccine, a whopping 15% of the people who caught measles from this traveler were up to date on their vaccine. If you've visited any of the businesses during the dates/times shown in this article and you show measles symptoms, see your doctor, regardless of your vaccination status.

  • Sara Hauser Aug 2, 2016
    user avatar

    I hope and pray no secondary cases occur. However, the realist in me knows that it is very possible. All because someone chose to travel abroad without being adequately protected against a vaccine-preventable disease. Countless man hours and tax dollars will be spent on this outbreak investigation. The cost will only climb should additional cases occur. I only hope no one dies from measles-related complications.

  • Janet Ghumri Aug 2, 2016
    user avatar

    That list scares me a little. Imagine how many children, and adults she mingled with in those 9 places. Some use their parental rights and chose not to vaccinate, but there are others who can't be vaccinated (cancer, heart, lung, kidney problems, etc).
    There's really no way to protect an unvaccinated child from inadvertent exposure. It is hard enough with the regular waves of germs that are spread into and around kids. Coughing on your elbow is ok if it's a single cough, or two. but if you are having a coughing fit, I daresay those germs weren't all covered. I hope it's an isolated case. What a nightmare for the parents, kids and the infected person

  • Mike Smith Aug 2, 2016
    user avatar

    You can get away with a lot in America. But before you travel overseas, you should make sure your immunizations are up to date.

  • Lesley Fitzgerald Aug 2, 2016
    user avatar

    And this is why we vaccinate our kids!