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Health Team

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

Posted August 2, 2016 1:50 p.m. EDT
Updated August 2, 2016 8:26 p.m. EDT

— 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.