Measles Alert Issued for California Train Riders


Thousands of San Francisco area commuters are being warned of a possible outbreak of the measles. Citizens that have been riding BART trains in the last week should be aware that a college student who was infected with the virus, had been riding those trains for several days. The public should be aware that symptoms may not arise for up to 10 days after first contracting measles. It is possible that some people may already be infected, and should be aware of early symptoms, health officials say.

Recognizing the early symptoms can be tricky because most resemble those of the common cold such as fever, runny nose, watery eyes, coughing and in some cases a rash may present itself. The student had apparently assumed that what he had been indeed a cold until he began breaking out into a rash.

Health officials mentioned to the press that the student currently attending the University of California, Berkeley, is said to have been infected while on a trip to Asia. He had then been riding the BART trains from 4th to the 7th of February during the morning and the night from El Cerrito del Norte to downtown Berkeley.

This alert being issued is important not only those trainer riders in California, but it is important to remind people of how fast the virus may spread. The virus could remain in the air for up to 2 hours, health officials say. According to the centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every children that contracts measles will get an ear infection, and around one out of 20 will get pneumonia. Pregnant women are infected with the measles could receive complications such as giving birth prematurely or even miscarriage. The measles have mostly been wiped out from the U.S., however it is estimated that up to 164,000 people each year around the world will contract the respiratory disease.

The elderly, babies, children and those with a compromised immune system will have a harder time fighting the measles virus. According to the CDC, outbreaks will usually begin with those who travel abroad and are then exposed to those who have never been vaccinated against the virus. 300 doses of the vaccine will be brought to the campus, UC Berkeley officials say, for those who have not yet received vaccination.

About 100 people will be contacted by officials who may have come into contact with the student. Measles spreads through the air by breathing, sneezing or coughing the best way to prevent the spread of the measles is to stay home. If you do sneeze or cough, it is highly recommended to do so into the inside of your elbow while shielding your face.

This alert issued should not be taken lightly by those train riders who had been commuting recently in San Francisco, California. Some may already remember that largest and most recent case of the measles occurring in the U.S. happened when 58 people were infected in 2013, from a teen who travelled from the UK back to New York. The CDC has stated on their website that today, around 60 cases of the measles occur each year in the United States. The measles can put those suffering into the hospital, and in some cases cause seizures, permanent brain damage, deafness even death.

By Katie Sevigny


Detroit Free Press
USA Today

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