3 probable measles cases in Bucks County

May 5, 2011 2:42:21 PM PDT
The Bucks County Health Department says it has identified three probable cases of measles and warn that other people may have been infected.

The three were exposed to French exchange students who showed signs of the illness, but left the country before they could be tested.

Word of the Bucks County exposures comes as the CDC reports the U-S is on track to have more measles cases than any year in a decade. there have been 89 cases reported thus far this year, compared to the normal rate of about 50 cases for the whole year.

And virtually all of the cases are linked to other countries. Europe, especially France, has been hit hard. There have been 6,500 cases reported in 33 nations.

The three infected people have mild cases because they had been partially vaccinated.

Officials said other people may have been exposed 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 11:00 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, doctors say you should watch out for symptoms of measles between now and May 17.

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 days.

An individual with measles can spread the virus to others for four days before and four days after the rash begins.

If you develop a rash and/or fever, do not attend public places or use public transportation until you see a doctor.

Measles is highly contagious and up to 90 percent of people exposed to an infected person get sick, experts say. The virus spreads easily through the air, and in closed rooms, infected droplets can linger for up to two hours after the sick person leaves.Measles can lead to serious complications including encephalitis, and pneumonia. Pregnant women and infants are most at risk.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is investigating a connection between the Bucks County cases, and measles exposures in Lancaster County.

On April 19, people in certain Lancaster County locations may have been exposed to contagious individuals at the following locations and times:

-- Tanger Outlet Center, Lancaster County, 11 a.m. - noon.

-- Bird in Hand Bake Shop, Lancaster County, 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

-- Riehl's Quilts and Crafts, Lancaster County, 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

-- Lapp's Wooden Toys, Lancaster County, 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.


Online: Measles information on the CDC website