By Kathy Walsh
DENVER (CBS4) – People who visited Target, King Soopers or any of five other locations in the south Denver metro area are being warned about possible exposure to measles. That’s because a baby with measles was at all of those places sometime last week.
Tri-County Health Department Executive Director Dr. John Douglas says measles is the most infectious of infectious diseases. It’s a respiratory infection and spread by coughing and sneezing.
According to Douglas, the baby was at spots in Denver, Parker, Lone Tree, Littleton and Highlands Ranch. He says the health department has contacted nearly every person known to have been in contact with the baby. The department is now notifying the public out of an abundance of caution.
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The following statement was released by Tri-County Health:
The health department advises that anyone in the locations listed below contact their health care provider to get vaccinated if they are not already immune to measles, and to watch for symptoms:
Kumon Math and Reading Center of Highlands Ranch – East 9362 S. Colorado Blvd. #D-08, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126 July 8, 3:30 p.m.-6:40 p.m. and July 11, 3:30 p.m.-6:40 p.m.
King Soopers 9551 S. University Blvd, Littleton, CO 80126 July 11, 4:30 p.m.-7:45 p.m.
Panda Express 9563 S. University Blvd., Highlands Ranch, CO 80126 July 11, 5:45 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Southeast Denver Pediatrics 11960 Lioness Way #200, Parker, CO 80134 July 12, 9:50 a.m.-12:15 p.m.; July 13, 9:50 a.m.-12:35 p.m.; and July 14, 11:35 a.m.1:45 p.m.
Target 10001 Commons St., Lone Tree, CO 80124 July 12, 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Sky Ridge Pediatric Emergency Department (Evergreen Building) 10107 Ridge Gate Pkwy, Lone Tree, CO 80124 July 14, 12:30 p.m.-9:45 p.m.
Pediatric Unit at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at Presbyterian St. Luke’s 2001 High Street., Denver, CO 80205 July 14, 8:30 p.m. to July 15, 3:30 a.m.
CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh told Reenie Rausch, mother of three, about the measles case as Rausch was leaving the King Soopers the baby had visited.
“My kids are vaccinated, so I don’t really have a high concern for them getting sick,” Rausch said.
Douglas explained how the baby got the illness.
“The baby had been traveling to countries where measles can be transmitted. The baby had not yet been vaccinated, ” Douglas said.
Also, the baby was taken to Sky Ridge Pediatric Emergency Department, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children and Southeast Denver Pediatrics. That is Lindsey Wahl’s pediatrician’s office.
“It makes me nervous,” she told Walsh.
But her baby, 6-month-old Emily, is in the clear. Her visit was well after the possible measles exposure.
“There’s so much stuff everywhere,” said Wahl. “It’s kind of the risk you take, I guess, these days.”
Tri-County Health has contacted nearly 120 people known to have had contact with the baby at the medical facilities. That’s not possible at the businesses.
“The good news is those are big open spaces. The baby was not there very long,” explained Douglas.
Douglas says don’t panic, the risk is believed to be low. But if you have not been vaccinated and think you were exposed he said look for symptoms including high fever, runny nose, cough and red rash that starts on the face. He said measles can be deadly and advised you call your doctor but don’t go into the office and risk spreading the disease.
As for immunizations, the MMR vaccine is usually given at 12 to 15 months and the second dose at 4 to 6 years. Douglas advises anyone not immunized, including adults, to get the vaccination.