Published On: Wed, Jul 2nd, 2014

Patrons of Abilene restaurant may have been exposed to measles: Health officials

Local health officials have recently confirmed two related cases of measles, a highly contagious respiratory illness spread by contact with an infected person through coughing and sneezing. Measles is not spread by food ingestion.

Measles rash Image/CDC

Measles rash

Health authorities have determined that people who visited Bonzai Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar, 1802 South Clack St., Abilene, between June 23 and 28 may have been exposed to measles.

People who have symptoms or think they may have been exposed to measles and are unvaccinated should contact their healthcare provider immediately. Immune globulin given up to six days after exposure may prevent disease among unvaccinated people. Let the doctor’s office or hospital know about a possible measles exposure or measles symptoms before entering the facility.

Symptoms of measles generally include:

  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, watery eyes

The measles rash generally begins at the hairline and gradually proceeds to face and upper neck and from there downward and outward. Other symptoms of measles may include lack of appetite, diarrhea (especially in infants), and generalized swollen lymph nodes.

People who have had the Measles and those that are fully vaccinated (have received 2 doses of Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) Vaccine) should have developed immunity and be protected from measles. While it is rare that vaccinated individuals develop measles, it can occur. Vaccinated individuals may have milder symptoms—a mild rash, and possible lack of fever, cough, runny nose or itchy, watery eyes.

People suspected of having measles should stay home from work, school, daycare, and any public outings (such as church, grocery store, sporting events) until four days after the rash appeared or after consulting with a healthcare provider or the Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District.

Public health officials in Texas urge children and adults to obtain immunizations to protect against and prevent the spread of many communicable diseases, including measles. People should check their immunization status with their health care provider.

People with concerns or questions regarding this situation, should contact the Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District at 850 N. 6th St., Abilene, TX 79601, Kay Durilla:  325-437-4660.

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