COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) – The Indiana State Department of Health has confirmed local officials are looking into a possible case of measles exposure at a College Station restaurant.
While investigating a confirmed case of measles in northern Indiana, authorities there learned of a possible risk of exposure at the Chuy’s restaurant on Harvey Road at Highway 6 in College Station.
The possible exposure would have occurred on Friday, March 29, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.
Anyone who may have been exposed at this location should watch for symptoms until April 21.
The Brazos County Health Department confirms it is aware of the incident and is investigating. Local officials are working on more details that should be released soon.
Dallas County officials reported last Thursday its first case of measles, bringing the total number of measles cases in Texas to 15.
There were nine cases of measles in Texas in all of 2018.
BACKGROUND AND VACCINE
Immunization is the best defense against measles.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It is rare in the United States due to the widespread availability of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine; however, visitors from other countries or U.S. citizens traveling abroad can become infected before or during travel.
More than 93 percent of people who receive a single dose of MMR will develop immunity to measles, and more than 97 percent will be protected after receiving a second dose. Two doses of the vaccine are needed to be fully protected. Individuals are encouraged to check with their healthcare providers to ensure vaccinations are up-to-date. Individuals born before 1957 are presumed to be immune to measles.
Children are routinely vaccinated for measles at 12-15 months and again at 4-6 years of age before going to kindergarten, but children as young as 6 months old can receive the measles vaccine if they are at risk. Because some children are too young to be immunized, it’s important that those around them are vaccinated to protect them.
From Jan. 1 to March 28, 2019, 387 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 15 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is the second-greatest number of cases reported in the United States since measles was eliminated in 2000.
Measles begins with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes usually about 7 to 10 days after exposure but can occur up to 21 days after exposure. The fever increases and can get as high as 105 degrees. Two to four days later, a rash starts on the face and upper neck. It spreads down the back and trunk and then extends to the arms and hands, as well as the legs and feet. After about five days, the rash fades in the same order in which it appeared.
Measles is highly contagious. Because it is so easily spread, a single case is considered an outbreak. When infected persons sneeze or cough, droplets spray into the air. Those droplets remain infective in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
If you are experiencing the symptoms of measles, stay home and call your healthcare provider right away before going to the doctor’s office. Be prepared to describe your symptoms and alert your doctor if you think you have been in contact with an infected person. If you are ill with measles, stay home and away from others, especially unvaccinated infants, people with diseases affecting their immune systems and pregnant women.