The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is warning the public that a person diagnosed with measles recently visited a wide variety of locations in Boulder and around the Denver metro area. The state health department said the patient, who was not identified, was an international traveler who was unvaccinated and was possibly contagious from Dec. 21 to 29. During that time, the patient reported being at several locations in Boulder - a hot spot for low youth vaccination rates.
Locations visited by infected person.
On Dec. 22: Falafel King, 1314 Pearl St.T-Mobile, 1590 28th St.1136 Spruce St. Rebecca's Apothecary, 1227 Spruce St. He also visited Alfalfa's Market at 785 E. South Boulder Road in Louisville and the Flat-Irons Crossing mall in Broomfield, plus locations in Denver, Centennial, Aurora, Englewood and Parker.
State health officials said anyone who was at one of those locations on those dates should keep an eye out for symptoms of measles, which begin seven to 14 days after exposure, but may take up to 21 days. Symptoms typically include fever, runny nose, red eyes that are sensitive to light and coughing. Two to four days after the first symptoms, a red rash appears on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. A person with measles is contagious for four days before the rash appears and up to four days after the rash, and people with measles should not go out in public.
Anyone with measles symptoms should call their doctor's office first to tell the staff about symptoms, but should not go inside the doctor's office or hospital, because measles is highly contagious. The doctor might meet patients outside the medical office to protect other patients and visitors.
While rare in the U.S., measles can be very dangerous for infants who are too young to be vaccinated, people with weakened immune systems and those who have not been immunized. Serious complications can occur, including pneumonia and swelling of the brain. There was one case of measles in Colorado in 2015 and one case in 2016. "It is important to make sure you are protected against measles, especially when traveling outside the U.S.," said Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer of CDPHE. "Vaccination is the only effective preventive measure against measles. Children as young as 6 months old can receive a vaccination for protection, and adults should make sure they are protected too.