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Allegheny

Allegheny County health officials say Port Authority bus rider had measles

Matthew Medsger
| Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, 8:18 p.m.

A Carnegie Mellon University graduate student with a potentially contagious case of the measles rode public transportation from Oakland to Squirrel Hill several times in January, according to the county Health Department and CMU.

The health department said the unidentified CMU student infected was potentially contagious from Jan. 17 to Jan. 25.

CMU said in a statement sent to the campus community that the student is fully vaccinated and lives off campus.

During that time the student apparently travelled from the CMU campus to Squirrel Hill on the 61A, 61B, 61C or 61D Port Authority bus routes.

Officials can't say exactly what time the infected student was on the bus, but they are encouraging anyone who shows symptoms of the measles to contact a doctor.

“If you believe you have symptoms of measles, and have been in the locations noted above, please contact your primary care provider immediately to notify them that you may have been exposed,” Dr. Karen Hacker, the health department's director, said in a release. “Do not go directly to the office, urgent care center or emergency room, as this may expose other persons.”

The Health Department says that anyone else who was exposed and infected should exhibit measles symptoms by Thursday.

Symptoms typically show seven to 21 days after exposure. They include runny nose, red and watery eyes, cough and a high fever.

After four days, a raised, red rash begins on the face and spreads downward from the neck to the torso and extremities.

The rash usually lasts four to seven days.

Officials say there are no additional cases of measles in Allegheny County at this time.

While the potential for additional cases is limited, they say people should be aware of the risk.

CMU has a measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine requirement for all full-time graduate and undergraduate students, the university said. This vaccine requirement offers a high degree of protection to the community. However, very rarely some people may be vaccinated and still become sick.

The university said if someone suspects they have the symptoms, they should contact University Health Services at 412-268-2157 to speak with a health service nurse or the after-hours telephone medical triage service at 844-881-7176.

It said it's important to call before coming to the clinic.

Matthew Medsger is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4675, mmedsger@tribweb.com or via Twitter @matthew_medsger. Staff writer Joe Napsha contributed to this story.

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