(Pittsburgh) — The Allegheny County Health Department administered 44 doses of the measles vaccine at a free clinic held Wednesday at the Homewood-Brushton YMCA.
This comes after the health department announced last week there have been five recent cases of measles, all of which were related to international travel.
Measles can be fatal or result in permanent brain damage. Symptoms may not appear for up to two weeks after exposure. They may include a runny nose, sore throat, inflamed eyes and skin rash.
The virus is highly contagious and can remain airborne for two hours after an infected person leaves an area. There have been several exposure sites connected to the recent cases, including the Pittsburgh International Airport, the National Aviary and Aldi on Baum Boulevard.
Caleb Avry, who is visiting Pittsburgh for work, said he wasn’t vaccinated as a child. He decided to get immunized now in light of the recent events.
“I think it’s a very important thing to do, especially if you work around people,” said Avry.
One dose of the vaccine is 93 percent effective; two doses are 97 percent effective. Some of the people who came to the clinic had already been vaccinated, including Marc Leonard of Wilkinsburg.
“I just decided, you know, why not just get it again so I ain’t gotta worry,” said Leonard.
Adults born before 1957 are considered immune to the disease. It’s recommended that international travelers have at least two doses of the vaccine.
The vaccine not recommend for children under 12 months, unless they will be traveling to an area where there have been outbreaks. Pregnant women should not receive the vaccine.