Measles exposure risk in Des Moines

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL


Washington County Public Health administrator Danielle Pettit-Majewski announced at the supervisors meeting they received a health advisory from the Iowa Department of Public Health letting them know there was a measles exposure in the Des Moines metro area recently.

If anyone was at the Hardee?s in the 3600 block of Merle Hay Road from 8:15 to 11:45 a.m., Friday, April 13, and from 12 to 4 p.m., Monday, April 16, at Panera Bread on Delaware Avenue in Ankeny, they were exposed to measles, she said.

?Measles is infectious for two hours after the infected person has been in that space,? Pettit-Majewski said, ?so this is a communicable disease that is incredibly hard to contain.?

The state medical director said a couple of years ago she would rather have ebola in Iowa than measles, she added. People would get sick 7 to 21 days after being exposed or right about this time.

The information about the exposure dates are on the public health?s Facebook page and would be put on the website, Pettit-Majewski said. Iowa Department of Public Health has also released several news releases about this.

If you?ve been exposed, there is really nothing anyone can do, she said. Some of the symptoms include cough, inflammation in your nose, conjunctivitis in your eyes and a rash.

?Immunoglobulin won?t help nor will getting a vaccine,? Pettit-Majewski said. ?However, the best thing to do to keep from getting sick would be to check your vaccination records [to] ensure you have two doses of MMR.

The first time you can get an MMR vaccine is at 12 months and then between 4 to 6 years old, so I just want to make people aware.?

There may be more notices from the state public health department about the measles exposure risk, she added.

This person was passing through Missouri and her office has already received notices from the Missouri Department of Public Health.