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Local Doctors Say to Watch for Measles Symptoms Following Kirkwood Exposure

March 22, 2018 - 9:08 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - A local infectious diseases specialist shares his concerns over a new warning from the Missouri Health Department about possible exposure to measles at several St. Louis-area attractions.  

If you've had the measles vaccine, you're most likely safe.  Those most at risk are those who didn't get the vaccine, infants under one, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.

"If you’ve gotten at least the two main doses then you’re probably covered for most of your life. At some point you may lose coverage when you’re substantially older but for most people, they are covered for the rest of their life with those two initial shots,” says SLU Care's Dr. Nirav Patel.

Patel is an infectious diseases specialist at SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital.

“Measles is perhaps the most contagious virus that we know. One patient with measles is expected to infect another 100, so that’s why it is so scary from an infection control perspective, because it does not take much at all to infect many, many other people," he says.

Health officials say a young person infected with measles visited three businesses on either March 13th or 14th - Racanelli's Pizza and the Magic House both in Kirkwood, as well as Homewood Suites in Chesterfield.

You should contact your health care provider if you think you may have been exposed and develop symptoms, including fevers up to 105 degrees, general malaise, and the three C’s: cough, conjunctivitis, and coriza, or runny nose.

Dr. Patel says symptoms can appear up to 14 after exposure, and develop into a rash, typically five to seven days after symptoms first appear.