DES MOINES, Iowa – The Department of Public Health is alerting people to a measles threat in central Iowa.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services says a traveler from Missouri who is confirmed to have the highly contagious disease stopped at the Hardees at 3621 Merle Hay Road in Des Moines between 8:15 and 11:45 am on April 13 and stopped at the Panera Bread at 2310 SE Delaware Avenue in Ankeny between noon and 4 pm on April 16.
Iowa health officials say anyone who was at those locations during those times was exposed to measles.
“Unfortunately, this situation is a great example of why all Iowans should check their personal and family immunization records to make sure their measles vaccinations are up-to-date,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “Since it is too late to prevent these exposed people from coming down with measles, they could become ill and start spreading the disease any day now. That is why is it so important that anyone who has not received two doses of measles vaccine go in and get vaccinated today. That way if they are exposed in the next month or so when they go about their normal activities, they will be protected.”
The Iowa Department of Public Health is urging anyone who may have been exposed and is developing symptoms to contact a health care provider immediately and arrange to be seen safely. Officials say you should not go to the doctor’s office, ER, local public health agency or a walk-in clinic. Until arrangements are made to be seen safely, people are being told to stay home; do not go into any public places.
The symptoms of measles include fever, cough, red/pink eyes, runny nose and/or a rash.