SHAWNEE, Okla. - A contagious virus was tracked to Oklahoma for the third time this year. A person with measles was in Pottawatomie County while they could have infected others at the end of April.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health was informed a person with the measles had been present at the FireLake Discount Foods (1570 Gordon Cooper Drive) Friday, April 27 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and at Nail Spa (4409 N. Kickapoo Avenue, Ste. 103) Saturday, April 28 from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Anyone who was at either of the two locations during those times is considered exposed.
The virus is airborne and may remain in an area up to two hours after the infected person has left. An epidemiologist with the OSDH said the infection doesn't land on surfaces and, after the two hours, it's safe to be in those spaces.
The OSDH is working with both businesses to identify anyone who may have been exposed. According to health officials, there were 42 employees identified at FireLake Discount Foods at that time, 15 people who went into Nail Spa and 19 family contacts of the person who were exposed to the disease.
So far, no suspected cases have been identified.
Now, the OSDH is working to identify anyone else who may have come in contact with the virus.
Symptoms include cold-like symptoms, fever, rash, and can lead to pneumonia. Those symptoms can take ten days to show up, so officials say if you're having any now, you should call the local or state health department.
OSDH officials said they will follow up in about 22 days with the people who have been identified as being exposed, after the time for symptoms to develop has passed.
But health officials stress that most people are immunized for the measles with the MMR vaccine, so the chances of being infected are very low.
If anyone is experiencing symptoms, they should call their doctor or the health department before going into the office. They'll have special instructions for a visit to prevent anyone else from being exposed.
The Pottawatomie County Health Department can be reached at 405-273-2157 and the OSDH epidemiologist-on-call can be reached at 800-234-5963. Citizen Potawatomi Nation Health Services provides care for all Native Americans. Tribal members may call 405-273-5236 and ask for Public Health.