Restaurant customers exposed to first measles case in Iowa since 2009

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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) -- The Iowa Department of Public Health announced Monday that patrons of two central Iowa restaurants may have been exposed to measles.

Photo courtesy: MGN

The department said in a news release that it received confirmation from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services of a person with a confirmed case of measles who exposed Iowans to the highly contagious disease at restaurants in Des Moines and Ankeny.

Anyone who visited the Hardees at 3621 Merle Hay Road on April 13 between 8:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. or the Panera Bread located at 2310 S.E. Delaware Avenue April 16 from noon to 4 p.m. was exposed to measles.

Iowa Department of Public Health warns that it is too late for Iowans exposed to the measles to receive preventive measures.

Anyone who experiences symptoms consistent with measles (fever, cough, red/pink eyes, runny nose and/or a rash) is encouraged to call their health care provider immediately and arrange to be seen safely.

Furthermore, the department urges anyone with measles symptoms not to go to their doctor’s office, an emergency room, local public health agencies or walk-in clinics until arrangements are made with doctors, as they could expose others to measles.

"Staying home is a good idea when you have any illness, but especially with measles,” Deputy State Epidemiologist Ann Garvey. “It spreads pretty quickly and easily."

Garvey said the measles exposure is a good reminder for Iowans to check their vaccination statuses.

“This serves as a good reminder to folks who may not be vaccinated or who are unsure what their vaccination status is,” she said.

The Department of Public Health said that the Hardee’s and Panera locations are safe to visit again and that neither restaurant could have prevented the measles exposure.

View the original story on KCCI's website.