PITTSBURGH — On Wednesday, Channel 11 learned that a researcher could have possibly exposed about 100 cancer patients to the measles.
UPMC's Hillman Cancer Center is divided into two sections -- the research side and the clinical side.
The University of Pittsburgh graduate student who has the measles works on the research side, but she did walk through the building's lobby and that simple act could've exposed about 100 cancer patients to the measles, Courtney Brennan reported.
Brennan spoke with UPMC officials Wednesday and was told they only had a small window of time where they could give those 100 patients immune booster shots. Even with the booster shots, the men and women battling cancer could still get the measles.
And the bus riders who first came in contact with the infected student could still get sick.
In a news release issued Friday afternoon, officials wrote:
"The Allegheny County Health Department is investigating exposures to a measles case in Pittsburgh and urging self-reporting by individuals who may have been exposed to the case. The Health Department has identified a case of measles in a person who was exposed to the disease in New York state. Additional testing is being conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and precautionary measures are being implemented to protect those at risk. Contacts in the person's workplace and healthcare settings are being notified and efforts are under way to find others.
"Additional exposures may have occurred when the person rode the northbound 64 Port Authority bus leaving Fifth Avenue and South Highland Avenue going toward Shadyside and Lawrenceville at 9:12 a.m. on Friday, February 14. Anyone who rode this bus between 9 and 11 a.m. on that day may have been exposed.
"While most people are not at risk because they have been immunized or have had measles, the following groups of individuals are susceptible to becoming infected with measles:
- Anyone born since 1957 who has not received two doses of effective measles vaccine known as MMR, which would include infants too young to have been immunized; persons who were vaccinated with an inactivated vaccine, which was used from 1963 through 1967, and have not been re-vaccinated; and those who refused vaccination.
- Persons whose immune systems are compromised due to disease or medication. The Health Department recommends the following to anyone who rode the 64 Port Authority bus on Friday, February 14, between 9 and 11 a.m.
"If you are susceptible to measles and become ill with symptoms of measles between now and March 7, contact your primary care provider immediately and tell him or her that you may have been exposed to measles.
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