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Two More Measles Cases in Area

ALBANY Two people have contracted the measles in the past two weeks here in the Capital Region.  The first case was a student at RPI in Rensselaer, the second was a child who was admitted to Albany Medical Center.  It does not appear that the two cases are related in any way but dozens of people who came into contact with either of them, may have been exposed.
 
If you're over the age of 57 or if you've had the MMR vaccine, you should be in the clear.  If you're unsure whether you've had the vaccination, your doctor can perform a simple blood test to see whether you have immunity.  Most babies get their first MMR vaccine between the ages of 12-15 months, then the second and final shot when they're 4-6 years old.  Most colleges require proof you've had the vaccine, or a religious or medical excuse in order to get in.  In both of the local cases, neither patient had the MMR vaccine.
 
"The only cases of measles we see in this country are imported, from outside the United States by people who are traveling or visiting," says Marcia Fabiano, an epidemiologist with Albany County.  It is believed that the child in Albany County that has measles got them while overseas on a family vacation, "we don't have any doubt that that's where it was acquired," Fabiano says.
 
But because the child was taken to Albany Medical Center for treatment, others who were there around the same time may have been exposed.  If you were in any of the following locations within the facility, you may be at risk:
Emergency Room on Friday, January 31 between 7:45 a.m. and 5:47 p.m.,
C or D building service elevators or the adjacent corridors in the basement and the 7th floor, between 3:47 p.m. and  5:47 p.m. on Friday, January 31
Floor C7 between 3:47 p.m. Friday, January 31 through midnight on Saturday, February 1
"From when you have contact to when you develop symptoms can be anywhere from 7-18 days so people don't often make that connection," Fabiano says.  If you haven't been vaccinated the symptoms for measles are: blotchy rash, fever, cough, a runny nose, red and watery eyes, feeling rundown and achy and tiny white spots with blusish-white centers found inside the mouth.
 
Information from the NYS Health Department:
The single best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated.  Most New Yorkers have been vaccinated, but if unsure, they should check with their physician. Individuals should receive 2 doses of MMR vaccine to be protected. The first dose should be given at 12-15 months of age and the second dose is routinely given at 4 to 6 years of age, but may be given as soon as 28 days after the first dose. Anyone at any age who is not immune to measles, and has no condition that would prohibit receiving the vaccine, should receive 2 doses of MMR vaccine at least 28 days apart.

It is also important to note that travelers should be up-to-date on their vaccinations; since January 2014 there have been 6 cases of measles reported in the United States from travelers to foreign countries.
More information about measles can be found at:
http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/measles/fact_sheet.htm