Measles case confirmed in Wake County

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Health officials say a resident contracted measles and may have exposed others (WTVD)

Wake County health officials say a local resident has contracted measles and may have exposed others before getting diagnosed.

The unidentified resident returned home to the Triangle from Europe on July 24 and developed a rash and fever. Monday afternoon, lab confirmation came that measles was the cause.

At NC State in Raleigh, Pam Hayes just finished helping move her sophomore son into Lee Residence Hall when she heard the news.

"It's kind of scary," Hayes said.

The NC State dormitory is one of nine locations the measles patient visited before seeking treatment. The list from Wake County Public Health includes a park in Apex, plus the YMCA and Coastal Credit Union in Cary.



It's enough to get parents like Hayes thinking hard about their child's immunization record.

"I would hope that (my son's immunizations are) up to date. I mean we've done everything we're supposed to do to be enrolled in college," Hayes said.

Severe complications from measles can be fatal. Wake County public health officials want residents to take notice.

"Take it seriously, but don't panic," said Kimberly McDonald, Medical Director at Wake County Human Services Department.

The patient traveled from Wake County to several locations in Europe.

For residents potentially exposed, if you've received your two recommended measles vaccines -- you're considered protected.



The infection that begins with a fever, rash, cough, and watery eyes is highly contagious.

"It's contagious from four days before the rash starts, on the day of the rash, and then four days after the rash starts," McDonald said.

Measles infections had become a medical rarity in the U.S. Health officials are using this case as a reminder to doctors and the public about the importance of the vaccine.

"Getting vaccinated is really the single-best protection against measles," McDonald said.

After health department investigators built a timeline on where the patient had been, when they went there, and who may have been there, they now want the public to be aware of symptoms and consult with their doctor about their immunization records.

The public can utilize a special measles hotline to speak with a specialist. The number is (919) 728-5233.

The health department said people may have been exposed to measles at the following locations:

On July 24:
RDU International Airport between 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Hunter Street Park, 1250 Ambergate Station, Apex from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

On July 25:
Hunter Street Park, 1250 Ambergate Station, Apex from 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Cary YMCA, 101 YMCA Drive, Cary from 12:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
NCSU Lee Residence Hall, 2500 Sullivan Drive, Raleigh from 8:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.

On July 26:
Hunter Street Park, 1250 Ambergate Station, Apex from 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Cary YMCA, 101 YMCA Drive, Cary from 7:15 p.m. - 10:15 p.m.
UPS Store, 2054 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary from 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. and from 4:45 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Coastal Credit Union, 2024 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary from 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

On July 28:
SportHQ, 107 Edinburgh South Drive, Suite 100A, Cary from 10:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.

On July 31:
NextCare Urgent Care, 1110 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary from 1:50 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.
WakeMed Cary Emergency Dept., 1900 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary from 3:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

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.

If you are experiencing symptoms of measles and have not been vaccinated, the health department says to call your doctor right away.

For more information about measles, visit http://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html.

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