BART Passenger With Measles Potentially Exposed Thousands of Commuters
Health officials are saying BART riders could have been exposed to the measles recently after a UC Berkeley student infected with the disease rode the train to class last week.
ABC News is reporting that the student who lives off campus in Contra Costa County, was not vaccinated and was likely infected with the measles while on a trip overseas. But before being diagnosed, the student rode BART for several days and attended class in Berkeley, according to the news station.
Specifically, BART says the passenger traveled between the El Cerrito del Norte and Downtown Berkeley stations on Tuesday, Feb. 4 through Friday, Feb. 7 between 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and again in the afternoon and evening commute hours.
So what does this mean for you? Health officials told reporters that anyone who has been vaccinated or has had the disease is unlikely to catch it, even if they had contact with the infected person. And those who are not vaccinated are likely to catch the disease if they've been in contact with a contagious person.
So if you show any symptoms of the measles, go to the doctor ASAP.
"Measles is a serious, highly contagious disease," Dr. Janet Berreman, health officer for the City of Berkeley, told ABC News. "It spreads through the air, when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Fortunately, the measles vaccine is highly effective in preventing infection."
According to the CDC, the symptoms of measles generally begin about 7-14 days after a person is infected. Symptoms include the following:
- Measles Rash
- Blotchy rash
- Runny nose
- Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
- Feeling run down, achy (malaise)
- Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers found inside the mouth (Koplik's spots)
The measles virus can stay in the air for up to two hours. So anyone who used BART between Feb. 4 and Feb. 7 during the morning commute hours and late evening was potentially exposed to measles.
"BART uses industrial-strength disinfectant to clean its trains at the end of the line during the day and each night," BART said in a statement released this afternoon.