Second measles case confirmed in the Denver metro area; Others may have been exposed

5 locations of possible exposures identified

LONE TREE, Colo. - A man exposed to the measles at a Lone Tree doctor's office is confirmed to have contracted the virus. It is the second case confirmed within the week.

"That person was not symptomatic at that time, so the person didn't know that they were infectious," said Dr. Lisa Miller, State Epidemiologist with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. "For measles, the period of infectiousness is based around when the rash starts and then we count backwards four days and we count forward four days."

The first case was identified in a man from India, who visited a doctor's office and was later hospitalized at Sky Ridge Medical Center. The new measles infection was identified in another man who was exposed at the Dermatology and Laser Institute of Colorado, located at the Lone Tree Medical Plaza, 9695 S. Yosemite St.

The virus is spread when a person sneezes or coughs and sprays droplets in the air or on surfaces. Because it is highly contagious, the state health department says other exposures may have occurred.

"If we have continued transmission, pretty soon instead of looking at individual places, we're really looking at the community as a whole...we're really saying that the virus may be out there circulating," said Dr. Miller.  "Unfortunately, vaccination coverage levels in Colorado are not as high as we would like them to be. Now is the time to check your immunizations and make sure you and your family are protected."

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says the second patient could have exposed others in these locations:

- From June 3-6 at Lone Tree Medical Plaza, 9695 S. Yosemite St., Lone Tree

- From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 3 at Kent Denver School’s middle school graduation, Anschutz Theatre., 4000 E. Quincy Ave., Cherry Hills Village

- From 12:30-3:30 p.m. on June 3 at Hodsons Bar & Grill, 6851 S. Gaylord St., Centennial

- From 6-9 p.m. on June 3 at Christ Lutheran Church, 8997 S. Broadway, Highlands Ranch

- From 3-5:30 p.m. on June 5 Highlands Ranch Orthodontics,1420 W. Canal Ct., Littleton

The state health department suggests that anyone who was at those locations during those times are advised to get vaccinated. They should also be alert for the symptoms of the measles.

Measles symptoms include fever; cough; runny nose; red, watery eyes; and a rash that usually begins on the face two to four days after the onset of other symptoms and typically spreads to hands and feet. Complications of measles include pneumonia and encephalitis (brain inflammation).  In unvaccinated pregnant women, measles also can cause miscarriage or premature birth.

If you suspect you have measles, call a health care provider before going to a medical office or emergency room. Special arrangements must be made for you to be evaluated while also protecting other patients and medical staff from possible infection.

"What we don't want happening is people with fever and rash entering a waiting room full of people or an emergency room full of people and expose a whole other round of individuals," said Dr. Miller.

According to the state health department, 86 percent of kindergarteners in 2011 had received two vaccines that prevent measles.

7NEWS confirmed that the state does require students to be vaccinated, but parents can opt their child out of a vaccination for medical or religious reasons and for personal beliefs.

Tri-County Health Department is holding an immunization clinic for those who don’t have a health care provider on Saturday, June 8, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., or until capacity is reached. There are no restrictions on age or residency.  The clinic will be held at Aurora Fire Station No. 2, 12600 Hoffman Blvd. in Aurora. For additional clinic times, call the Tri-County immunization line at 303-451-0123.

For more information about measles, the public can call CO-HELP at 1-877-462-2911 or 303-389-1687.  COHelp is available 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. 

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