The Pennsylvania Department of Health is alerting travelers to a possible exposure to measles at the Endless Mountains Welcome Center in Great Bend between 8:00 p.m. and midnight on Friday, May 12.
The center is located along I-81 Southbound near the Pennsylvania/New York border.
“A visitor to the welcome center the evening of May 12 was diagnosed with measles, which can be highly contagious,” said PA Health Secretary Karen Murphy in a written release.
“However, if you have been properly immunized against measles, your risk of contracting the disease is minimal. We encourage anyone who is unsure about their measles vaccination status to contact their health care provider or call our toll-free hotline at 1-877-PA-HEALTH.”
Measles is a highly contagious but vaccine-preventable disease that spreads through coughing, sneezing, or other contact with the mucus or saliva of an infected person. Symptoms typically appear one to three weeks after infection and include: rash; high fever; cough; and red, watery eyes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those most at risk are:
• Infants less than one year of age who are too young to have received the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine;
• Individuals who are not vaccinated; and
• Individuals from parts of the world where there is low vaccination coverage or circulating measles.
Additionally, even if you were vaccinated, you may still be at risk if:
• You were vaccinated with an inactivated vaccine, which was used from 1963 through 1967, and have not been revaccinated; or
• You were born after 1957 and have only received one dose of MMR vaccine.
If you believe you might have been exposed to measles and experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, please contact your health care provider.
It is best to call ahead so that precautions can be taken to avoid exposing anyone else to the disease.