PITTSBURGH – Two additional measles cases have been confirmed in Allegheny County, and they are from the same family that had previously been identified as having measles. The two newest cases are both adult county residents who are not vaccinated. There have been no additional public exposures because of quarantine orders for the family.
On May 2, 2019, the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) reported four measles cases involving one family in the county. Three of those individuals were visitors to the county from overseas, and one is a county resident. The total number of measles cases in the county is now seven, with six of the cases coming from one family.
Due to increased interest and concern with measles, the Health Department will begin offering a limited supply of free measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccines at its immunization clinic starting today, Wednesday, May 15, for those the CDC identifies as targeted individuals, who are at higher risk of contracting measles. That designation includes children from 12 months of age to adults 61 years of age who have not been vaccinated. There is no risk in getting an additional dose of the MMR vaccine for individuals who may have already received it.
Individuals NOT eligible for the free MMR vaccine at ACHD’s clinic include children under the age of 12 months of age, those born before 1957 (who have a natural immunity), anyone who has had measles, pregnant women, or those who are otherwise immunocompromised.
The walk-in immunization clinic is located at 425 First Avenue, Fourth Floor, in downtown Pittsburgh, PA 15219 (entrance is on Cherry Way). Clinic hours are: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Wednesday from 1-8 p.m.
Individuals will be vaccinated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those who wish to receive a free vaccine must sign an intake form and consent form prior to receiving the vaccine. Free MMR vaccines will be available until the supply runs out. Residents are urged to call the clinic at 412-578-8060 prior to coming in to check on availability of the free vaccines.
One dose of the MMR vaccine is 93% effective, and two doses is 97% effective. The CDC’s vaccination recommendations include:
Children 12 months or older should have two doses – the first at age 12-15 months and a second dose between 4-6 years.
Healthcare personnel, college students, and international travelers should have two doses of MMR.
Adults born during or after 1957 should have at least one dose of MMR or documented evidence of disease. Adults born before 1957 are considered immune.
For international travel, infants 6-11 months should have one dose of MMR, and children 12 months of age and older should receive two doses of MMR, separated by at least 28 days.
Anyone susceptible to measles or who becomes ill with symptoms of measles should contact their primary care provider immediately. Do not go directly to the office, urgent care center, or emergency room, as this may expose other persons. Health care providers who suspect measles should call the Health Department at 412-687-ACHD (412-687-2243) for consultation and to arrange testing.