Thursday, May 5, 2011

Measles in Bucks County

I just received a Bucks County alert that there may be 3 cases of measles that could have exposed other people while infectious.  So if anyone out there is not immune or your kids are not immune... you may want to watch out or get vaccinated.  We may be seeing more of these alerts as more people refuse the vaccination.  See below for the press release.  Also for more information on measles you can click here.

Contact: Chris Edwards or Ann Machesic
The Bucks County Health Department has identified three probable cases of measles that could
have exposed other persons while infectious. For most people, measles is not a serious illness.
However, in some cases it can cause severe illness. Complications from measles can include ear
infection, diarrhea, pneumonia, and encephalitis. All three probable cases in Bucks County were
at least partially vaccinated.

Possible measles exposures could have occurred at the following times and locations:
  • Saturday night, April 30, at the Murder Mystery Dinner at the Cock and Bull Restaurant in Peddler’s Village, Lahaska;
  • Saturday, April 30, between the hours of 11 a.m. and noon at the Parx Casino blackjack tables.

If you attended one of these locations during the time specified, and are susceptible to the virus,
you are asked to watch out for symptoms of measles between now and May 17. What should you
do if you develop symptoms of measles? If you develop a rash and/or fever, do not attend public
places (such as work, school, childcare, shopping or public transportation until you see a doctor
and are sure you don’t have measles). If you suspect you have measles, call your physician
before you go and let him/her know that you may have been exposed to measles.

Most people in the United States are immune to measles, either because they received the
Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine in childhood, or because they were exposed to measles
in the pre-vaccine era (before 1957). Infants less than one year of age are too young to have
received the MMR vaccine.

The public should be aware that measles is caused by a highly contagious virus. Symptoms will
begin one to two weeks after exposure and include a runny nose, watery eyes, cough and a high
fever. After four days, a raised, red rash starts to spread on the face, down the body and out to
the arms and legs. The rash usually lasts four to seven (4-7) days. An individual with measles can
spread the virus to others for four days before and four days after the rash begins.
The probable cases here in Bucks County were exposed to French foreign exchange students
who were symptomatic for measles, but returned to their native country prior to testing. There
is currently a major measles outbreak in France. The probable cases live in the Council Rock
School District, and the affected schools and their students are being notified. Children who have
not been vaccinated will be removed from the schools until the possible incubation period of
illness is over.

Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Department of Health, notes that this
situation “shows more than ever the importance of vaccinating your family. Diseases that are rare in the U.S. are
still circulating around the world, and are only a plane flight away. This is another reminder to
check with your physician and make sure you and members of your family are up-to-date on their

Commissioners’ Office of Public Information * 55 East Court Street, Doylestown PA 18901
215-348-6415 *
County Commissioners
Charles H. Martin, Chairman
Robert G. Loughery, Vice-Chairman
Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW