TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Health Department is currently investigating a case of measles in Tulsa County.
Measles was identified in a person who had returned to Oklahoma after international travel. Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease and spreads through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes. It is possible to catch measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, up to two hours after that person is gone. A person is highly contagious for three to four days before the rash starts. Anyone under the age of 60 who has been exposed to the virus and has not had the MMR shot is at high risk for getting the measles.
Based on the information collected during the investigation, THD health officials want to alert anyone who visited the following locations during the specified times about potential exposure to the measles virus:
- Southern Hills Country Club (2636 East 61st Street) on Friday, March 30 from 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
- Church of Saint Mary (1347 East 49th Place) during the following dates and times:
o Friday, March 30 from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.
o Sunday, April 1 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- Prairie Fire Pie (1303 East 15th Street) on Friday, March 30 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
- Tulsa International Airport (7777 East Apache Street) on Sunday, April 1 from 6 – 8:30 p.m. The specific areas include the United and American Airlines desks in the lower level ticketing area.
- Whole Foods Market (1401 East 41st Street) on Sunday, April 1 from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
- William Building (6585 S Yale Ave) on Monday, April 2 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Boston Deli Grill & Market (6231 East 61st Street) on Monday, April 2 from 12 – 2 p.m.
- Laureate Institute for Brain Research (6655 South Yale Avenue) on Monday, April 2 from 3 – 7:30 p.m.
- Walgreens (6040 South Yale Avenue) on Monday, April 2 from 5 – 8 p.m.
- Warren Clinic Tower (6600 South Yale Avenue) on Tuesday, April 3 from 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. The specific areas include elevators, waiting room, X-ray and laboratory collection services.
THD is collaborating with officials of these organizations to identify individuals who may have visited the locations during the specified time periods to inform them of their exposure and provide recommendations.
Individuals are protected if they are immunized with two doses of a measles-containing vaccine after their first birthday, or if they were born during or before 1957, or if they have previously had the measles. Anyone who is concerned about a possible exposure should contact the Tulsa Health Department’s measles information hotline at 918-595-4500.
THD is offering a measles immunization clinic to provide free MMR immunizations at the James O. Goodwin Health Center, 5051 South 129th East Avenue today from 3 – 6 p.m. and Friday, April 6 from 8 – 5 p.m.
Immunization records may be obtained at www.tulsa-health.org/shotrecords, or through your private health care provider or school.
“Measles is highly contagious. Each case could start an outbreak, especially if undervaccinated individuals are exposed,” said THD Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart. “Prompt investigation of cases and contacts help to stop the spread of disease. This underscores the importance of public health – including disease surveillance and prevention measures like immunizations – to protect the residents of our community.”
People who are susceptible to measles usually develop symptoms about 10 days after exposure with a range of 7-21 days. Symptoms of measles begin with a mild to moderate fever, runny nose, red eyes, and cough. A few days later, a rash appears starting on the face spreading to the rest of the body accompanied by a fever that can reach up to 105 degrees. Symptoms can range from severe to milder, depending on the individual. Measles can lead to pneumonia and other complications, especially in young children and adults over 20. The disease can also cause serious problems in pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems.
People with measles can spread the virus up to four days before the onset of the rash and until four days after the rash starts.
Measles can be prevented with the measles vaccine (usually given in combination with rubella and mumps, called MMR vaccine). The vaccine is recommended for all children at 12 to 15 months of age and again at four to six years of age. If a person has not received a second dose of the vaccine between four to six years of age, the booster dose may be given at any age thereafter. The measles vaccine is very effective. One dose of measles vaccine is about 93% effective at preventing measles if exposed to the virus. Two doses are about 97% effective.
For more information about measles and the importance of immunizations, visit www.tulsa-health.org.