Apr 29, 2015 3:57 PM

Concern about possible measles exposure to patrons of Flatbread Company in Portsmouth


CONCORD - Public health officials are warning anyone who visited the Flatbread Company restaurant in Portsmouth on April 20 to be on the alert for symptoms of measles.

The state Division of Public Health Services says it is investigating an incident where an international visitor was found to be infected with measles. The visitor's presence at the Flatbread Company means there was a risk of public exposure on Monday the 20th between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

“We are still in the early stages of investigating, but we do not anticipate a large outbreak because of the high vaccination rate of people in the State,” said Dr. Benjamin Chan, state epidemiologist. “But it is possible there could be cases in New Hampshire related to travel by this individual. It is a good time for people to check their own vaccination status if they were born in or after 1957.”

Measles generally start with a high fever, cough, runny nose, and conjunctivitis, also known as red-eye, several days prior to development of a body rash. Officials say anybody who feels sick should call their healthcare provider.

Measles is caused by a virus that is passed from person to person through the air when someone with the disease sneezes, coughs, or talks. It is very easy for individuals who have not received the measles vaccine to contract it from someone else.

The measles virus can remain in the air for up to two hours after an infected person visits and leaves and area. The above time frame for exposure at the Portsmouth restaurant includes this two-hour window after the infectious person left the restaurant.

The incubation period for measles from the time of exposure is typically 10 to 14 days but can be as long as 21 days, officials said.


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