FT. PAYNE, Alabama (WDEF) – Tennessee officials have been warning the public about an East Tennessee resident who has tested positive for measles.
On Wednesday, they warned the victim has stopped at a Mapco in Lookout Valley last week.
Now Alabama health officials say the East Tennessean also stopped at a restaurant in Ft. Payne while infectious.
The window of infection begins at 5:54 on April 11th for about two hours.
The restaurant is the Chick-fil-A at 1824 Glenn Blvd. SW, in Fort Payne.
If you were there during that period, check your vaccine history (most of us were vaccinated as children.)
Measles is highly contagious through the air and victims may not even know they are ill when they are contagious.
“Measles is a serious viral respiratory illness that lives in the nose and throat mucus of infected people. A single case of measles will infect up to 95 percent of unvaccinated people who are exposed.”
State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said, “If you suspect you were exposed, it is important for you to call your healthcare provider before being seen in his or her office, follow instructions for reporting, and practice social isolation if you develop any of the signs and symptoms of measles.”
Symptoms of measles appear 7 to 14 days after a person is infected. Common early symptoms include:
- High fever, up to 105 degrees F
- Runny nose
- Red or watery eyes
Two to three days after symptoms begin, an infected person may have tiny white spots appear inside of the mouth.
Three to five days after symptoms begin, the infected person could also have:
- A rash of flat red spots appear on the face and spread to the neck, chest, arms, legs and feet.
- Small raised bumps may appear on the flat red spots.
Measles is very contagious and may live up to 2 hours in the air or on surfaces after an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- People can spread measles to others 4 days before and 4 days after the rash appears.
- Measles is spread from person-to-person through
— Coughing and sneezing
— Touching items and surfaces the infected person has coughed or sneezed on.
- The best prevention against measles is receiving 2 doses of MMR vaccine.
- If you are exposed, not up-to-date, or have unknown MMR vaccine history, please contact your doctor or pharmacist to get vaccinated.
Measles is highly contagious and can be serious in all age groups. Children younger than 5 years of age and adults older than 20 are more likely to suffer from measles complications. Common complications may include ear infections, hearing loss, and diarrhea. Severe complications may include pneumonia, swelling of the brain, and death. One measles case is also expected to result in 12-18 additional cases. Up to 20-30 percent of infected people have complications from the disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one out of four people who get measles will be hospitalized; one out of 1,000 people with measles will develop brain swelling (encephalitis) which may lead to brain damage; and one or two out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even with the best care. Two doses of measles vaccine are over 97 percent protective against the disease.
For more information on the disease and vaccine, please go to alabamapublichealth.gov/immunization/assets/measles_flyer.pdf or cdc.gov/measles/about/ or contact the ADPH Immunization Division at 800-469-4599.