ALLEN COUNTY, IN (WANE) A positive case of measles has been discovered in Fort Wayne, the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health said Friday.
In a news release, the health department said that shoppers and employees of the Maysville Road Kohl’s and Walmart who were at those stores on May 20 from 1-5 p.m. could have been exposed to the virus. The health department said those individuals should monitor themselves for a symptoms until June 10 – primarily those who have not been vaccinated with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.
The health department did not identify the patient stricken with the highly contagious virus, but said they are working closely and cooperatively with both local and state health officials in the investigation. Officials said May 20 was the only day of exposure.
That’s a positive, because the health department said the opportunity for intervention has passed and any preventative vaccine or medicine would not prevent measles from developing in unvaccinated individuals who were exposed.
Measles is a highly contagious virus and spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Symptoms of measles generally appear about 7-14 days after a person is infected, but can occur up to 21 days after exposure, typically beginning with high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two or 3 days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots may appear inside the mouth, and 3-5 days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out. It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. When the rash appears, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit. After a few days, the fever subsides and the rash fades.
Symptoms of measles include:
- High Fever (101 F or higher)
- Rash that starts at hairline and spreads throughout body
- Runny nose
- Red and watery eyes
- Sore throat and other cold-like symptoms
Residents who develop those symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.
The health department said anyone who visited the Maysville Road Walmart or Kohl’s stores before 1 p.m. on May 20 was not exposed to the virus. There is no current risk associated with visiting those stores now, officials said, calling the case an “isolated exposure period.”
The Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health has established an information line at (260) is 449-4499 to provide answers to common questions about the measles. The phone line will be staffed during normal business hours and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 28. At other times callers may hear a recorded voice message.
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