A Massachusets infant who recently traveled to Riverhead may have spread measles, Suffolk County health officials warned Tuesday.
The infant spent three days on the North Fork last week, staying at the Hilton Garden Inn on Route 58 until Friday afternoon before testing positive for measles Tuesday.
Health officials said the infant travelled to Long Island via a 1 p.m. ferry from New London to Orient last Wednesday. Passengers on that ferry and a 3 p.m. return ferry Friday may have been exposed to the disease, health officials said.
“We encourage all individuals who were potentially exposed to be on the alert for symptoms and we ask high risk individuals, including pregnant women, who have potentially been exposed to contact their health care providers,” county health commissioner Dr. James Tomarken said in a statement released Tuesday.
Guests at the Hilton on the three days the baby stayed should also be on alert for symptoms, the statement says.
Measles symptoms generally appear in two stages: early symptoms include a runny nose, cough and a slight fever, health officials said. Eyes may become reddened and sensitive to light, while the fever may gradually rise each day.
Later symptoms begin on the third day and consist of a temperature of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, and a red, blotchy rash lasting four to seven days. The rash usually begins on the face and then spreads over the entire body. Little white spots may also appear inside the mouth.
Symptoms usually appear in 10-12 days after exposure, although they may occur as early as seven or as late as 21 days after.
Measles is spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people, or, less frequently, by airborne transmission. Individuals who have had only one measles vaccine dose should obtain a second dose, health officials said.
To prevent the spread of the highly communicable disease, the health department is asking individuals who may have been exposed and who have symptoms consistent with measles, to call their physicians, health care providers or emergency rooms before going for care.
For additional information about measles, contact the health department at (631) 853-3055 or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov.