Measles

Rachel Gobep / 90.5 WESA

On today’s program: How to prevent infectious diseases; a breakdown of yesterday’s primary election results; Mayor Bill Peduto on cybersecurity, postponing gun control ordinances and legalizing recreational marijuana; and an old amusement park near Lake Erie searches for its place in the 21st Century.

Damian Dovarganes / AP

The Allegheny County Health Department reported two new cases of measles Wednesday.

Sarah Boden / WESA News

The Allegheny County Health Department administered 44 doses of the measles vaccine at a free clinic held Wednesday at the Homewood-Brushton YMCA. 

Health officials in western Pennsylvania have released new information about possible exposure to measles last month in the Pittsburgh area. 

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

There are four more cases of measles in Pittsburgh. The Allegheny County Health Department said the new cases are within one family and that two adults and two children are infected. One of the adults and both children are visiting from overseas and are not residents of the county. The other infected adult is a county resident and is not vaccinated.

On Monday a man went to the UPMC Shadyside emergency room where he was diagnosed with measles.

This disease is highly contagious and can be airborne for up to two hours after an ill person leaves an area, which is why doctors say people who think they might have measles should not go the ER or physician’s office. Instead, call your primary care doctor who will advise you of next steps.

Eric Risberg / AP

A new outbreak of measles across the U.S. has made headlines recently, but the first known case was reported in Pittsburgh this week.

Americans could be forgiven for not knowing that much about measles. After all, it's been 51 years since an effective vaccine was introduced, quickly turning the disease from a common childhood experience to a rarity, and nearly two decades since the disease was declared eliminated from the U.S.

But outbreaks have surfaced throughout the country over the past few months, affecting more than 700 people.

In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared measles "eliminated" from the United States. But with measles continuing to spread and at times flourish in many parts of the globe, the U.S. has been unable to remain immune to the disease.

This year, the U.S. has its highest number of measles cases in 25 years. As of this week, the CDC has recorded 704 cases in 22 states.

The reemergence of measles is linked to parents who have chosen not to vaccinate their children against this highly contagious disease.

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

With more than 100 reported cases of measles throughout the country in January, Pennsylvania physicians came together Tuesday with a united message – get yourself and especially your children vaccinated.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says the outbreak has been traced to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and has spread to 14 states including Pennsylvania, where one case of measles has been reported in Cumberland County.

Allegheny County health authorities say a person with measles might have recently spread the virus to others in the Pittsburgh area.

Officials say Thursday that people who may have been in contact with the Allegheny County resident at work or elsewhere are being notified. They also say others may have been exposed on April 30 in New Kensington, at an Indiana Township restaurant, and in Harmar Township.