Possible Measles case reported in Cumberland & Franklin counties; officials host free vaccine clinics

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This is the skin of a patient after 3 days of measles infection; treated at a New York hospital. (Photo Credit: cdc.gov)

Free measles vaccination clinics are being held in Cumberland and Franklin  counties  after the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued a warning Wednesday of a possible measles exposure.

A person who has measles, which is a vaccine-preventable disease, may have exposed other people to the disease at locations in Cumberland and Franklin counties.

Those locations include:

  • Walmart, 100 S. Conestoga Drive, Shippensburg on Saturday, Jan. 24, from 8 p.m. to midnight.
  • Shippensburg Urgent Care Center, 46 Walnut Bottom Rd, Shippensburg on  Monday, January 26, from 6:45 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Chambersburg Hospital Emergency Department, 112 North 7th Street, Chambersburg on Monday, January 26, from 7:45 p.m. to Tuesday, Jan. 27 from 6 a.m.

Health officials are offering  FREE vaccination clinics over the next several days at the following locations :

Thursday, Jan. 29:
Franklin State Health Center
518 Cleveland Ave.
Chambersburg, PA
Hours: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

 Friday, Jan. 30:
Cumberland State Health Center
431 East North St.
Carlisle, PA
Hours: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturday, Jan 31:
Southampton Township (Franklin County) Municipal Building
705 Municipal Drive
Shippensburg, PA
Hours: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

According to health officials, most people who have received the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine are immune to the disease.

Those who have the vaccine and may still be at risk for measles include those vaccinated with an inactive vaccine, which was used from 1963 to 1967 and those born after 1957 that have only received one dose of the MMR vaccine.

Infants less than one year of age who are too young to have received the MMR vaccine, individuals who refused vaccination and individuals from parts of the world where there is low vaccination coverage or circulating measles are at risk of becoming infected if they have had contact with an infected individual, according to the CDC.

Measles is a potentially very serious and highly contagious virus. Symptoms begin within one to two weeks after exposure and include a runny nose, watery eyes, cough and a high fever. 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.

If a person is exposed, the MMR vaccine can help prevent infection if it is given within three days of exposure.

The Department of Health says, “lf you or your children are at risk for measles, and become ill with the symptoms one to two weeks after possible exposure, contact your pediatrician or family physician immediately to share that you’ve been exposed so that precautions can be taken to avoid exposing anyone else.”

If you are uninsured, the department will be hosting a series of clinics in the impacted counties in the coming days. Additional information will be provided to the public by the department regarding clinic dates and times.

For more information about measles, see the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s website at http://www.health.state.pa.us/pdf/epi/MeaslesFactSheet.pdf. Additional information from the CDC is also available at www.cdc.gov.
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