State Health Department Confirms Measles Case in Capital Region

People Who Visited Specific Sites in Rensselaer and Albany Counties May Have Been Exposed; Preventive Treatment May Be Warranted

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 30, 2011) – The New York State Department of Health (DOH) announced today that a case of measles has been confirmed in a patient seen at two emergency departments in the Capital Region, and exposures to the public may have occurred in a number of different settings.

Anyone who was a patient or accompanied a patient to either of the following hospital emergency departments at the times listed, and is not immune to measles (see criteria below) may be a candidate to receive preventive treatment:

  • Seton Health (St. Mary's) Emergency Department, Troy, NY (Rensselaer County), May 26, 2011 from 5 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and/or May 27, 2011 from 9:00 p.m. to May 28 at 1:00 a.m.
  • Albany Medical Center Hospital Emergency Department, the Triage area only, Albany, NY (Albany County), May 28, 2011, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Individuals who were at one of the above facilities during the timeframes listed should contact that hospital immediately to determine if they should get treatment. Preventive treatment MUST be given as soon as possible and at least within six (6) days of the exposure, and is recommended for those who are not immune to measles, are pregnant, immunocompromised, or under 12 months of age.

  • Seton Health Center 518-268-5234
  • Albany Medical Center Hospital 518-262-8888

In addition, local residents could have come into contact with the individual with measles, AND potentially been exposed to the disease, if they visited the following locations on the dates and times listed below:

  • Seton Pediatrics or the medical building at 500 Federal Street, Troy, NY on May 24, 2011 between 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
  • Seton Internal Medicine at 147 Hoosick Street, Troy, NY, on May 26, 2011 between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
  • Price Chopper on Hoosick Street, Troy, NY on May 26 between 12 noon and 3 p.m.
  • Goodwill on Hoosick Street, Troy, NY on May 26 between 12 noon and 3 p.m.

Anyone who was at these locations during these times should contact the local (county) health department where they reside to determine if they are a candidate to receive preventive treatment.

  • Rensselaer County DOH: 518-270-2655
  • Albany County DOH: 518-447-4640

Individuals are not at risk of contracting measles if they are immune. A person is considered immune if they were born before January 1, 1957, have a history of physician-diagnosed measles, a blood test confirming immunity, OR have received two doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine.

In order to prevent the spread of illness, the state and local health departments are also advising individuals who may have been exposed and who have symptoms consistent with measles to call their health care providers or a local emergency department before going for care. This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus, and is spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people. Measles symptoms usually appear in 10 to 12 days, but can occur as late as 18 days after exposure. Symptoms generally appear in two stages.

In the first stage, which lasts two to four days, the individual may have a runny nose, cough and a slight fever. Eyes may become reddened and sensitive to light while the fever gradually rises each day, often peaking as high as 103° to 105° F. Small bluish white spots surrounded by a reddish area may also appear on the gums and inside of the cheeks.

The second stage begins on the third to seventh day and consists of a red blotchy rash lasting five to six days. The rash usually begins on the face and then spreads downward and outward, reaching the hands and feet. The rash fades in the same order that it appeared, from head to extremities. Although measles is usually considered a childhood disease, it can be contracted at any age.

The single best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated. Individuals should receive 2 doses of MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine to be protected. The first dose should be at 12-15 months of age and the second dose should be given at 4 to 6 years of age (age of school entry).