Shoppers Warned of Measles Exposure at NY Mall

Monday, Feb 10, 2014  |  Updated 12:46 PM EDT
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Shoppers who were at the AT&T store or the Best Buy at the Palisades Center Mall on Sunday may have been exposed. Brynn Gingras reports.

Shoppers who were at the AT&T store or the Best Buy at the Palisades Center Mall on Sunday may have been exposed. Brynn Gingras reports.

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Shoppers at a New York mall, particularly those at an AT&T store and a Best Buy, were possibly exposed to measles, a county health department warned Friday.

A case of measles has been identified in Rockland County, and anyone at the Palisades Center Mall on Sunday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. could have been exposed, the county Department of Health said. 

The health department said people who shopped on the first floor of the mall and at those two electronics stores are at the greatest risk of exposure.

It's a painful, contagious disease that many people mistake for the common cold. 

Despite news of the measles case, the parking lot at Palisades Mall was packed Friday night. One shopper who contracted it 25 years ago called it "scary."

"No one should have to go through it," said Leanne O'Brien of Newburgh.

Bruce Pratt of Munsie also had the measles decades ago and still remembers the pain it caused. 

"I had a cold, rash on my stomach and little spots, and you cough a lot," he said. 

Babies under 6 months old, pregnant women and those with immune system problems may be at risk. Anyone who has not had a measles vaccination and who was shopping at the mall during those times should also contact a doctor, the health department said.

People who have had two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine are not at risk of contracting measles, authorities said. Most New Yorkers have been vaccinated, the health department said.

Symptoms of measles include fever and rash but many people who contract it may think it may dismiss the warning signs. 

"They may just think they have a cold, so they may have not broken out with the rash, and they don't know they have it and can expose a lot of people," said Dr. Len Horovitz at Lenox Hill Hospital. 

Anyone who suspects they may have been exposed and have symptoms should call their physician before seeking care so that others are not exposed in a waiting room, the health department said.

- Brynn Gingras contributed to this report. 

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