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Health Officials: Dutchess County Measles Patient Took Amtrak Train

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A case of the measles has been confirmed in in Dutchess County, and the sick person was on an Amtrak train, the New York State Department of Health announced Friday.

The laboratory-confirmed measles case was discovered at Bard College in Dutchess County, the department said. The department said the person with the disease was also on Amtrak Train No. 283 from Penn Station to Albany and Niagara Falls, which left at 1:20 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 25.

Anyone who is not immune to the measles or is not sure about their immunity should contact their doctors if they come down with a fever, the department said.

The department advised that anyone who might have been exposed, and who has symptoms consistent with the measles, should call their health care providers or a local emergency room before going anywhere to seek care. The measure will help prevent others from being exposed at an emergency room or doctor's office.

Bard College has already notified the campus community of the measles case, and on Friday, the Dutchess County Department of Health held a vaccination clinic for students, faculty and staff, the department said.

So far this year, three measles cases have been confirmed in New York state. The other two were in New York City, the department said.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease spread by nasal or throat secretions. It can lead to pneumonia or encephalitis; one in 1,000 children die from it.

Measles symptoms usually appear in 10 to 12 days, but can show up as late as 18 days of exposure. Symptoms usually appear in two stages.

In the first stage, which lasts two to four days, an infected person may have a runny nose, cough and a slight fever, with reddening eyes and light sensitivity while the fever gradually rises each day until peaking as high as 105 degrees. Small bluish-white spots surrounded by a reddish area may appear on the gums and inside the cheeks.

The second stage usually begins on the third to seventh day, and involves a red, blotchy rash that typically starts on the face and spreads downward and outward to the hands and feet. The rash fades in the same order it appeared.

Measles is usually considered a childhood disease, but can appear at any age. People are considered immune if they have received two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine or if they were born before Jan. 1, 1957, or if they have a history of laboratory-confirmed measles or a blood test confirming immunity.

The Health Department emphasizes that the best preventative measure for measles is vaccination.

More information about measles can be found through the Health Department website.

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