Health District warns Las Vegas strip visitors may have been exposed to measles

ST. GEORGE — The Southern Nevada Health District is warning people who visited Las Vegas Boulevard earlier this month that they may have been exposed to measles. 

A case of measles was confirmed in a person who visited Las Vegas from Aug. 1-6, and the health district is warning those who may have come into contact with them at the following times and locations to review their immunization status and contact their doctor if they are not fully immunized against the highly contagious disease. 

  • Slice of Las Vegas, 3390 S. Las Vegas Blvd., from 6:45-11:30 p.m. Aug. 2, 6:45-11:30 p.m. Aug. 4, and 6:45-10:30 p.m. Aug. 6. 
  • Luxor Hotel and Casino registration area, 3900 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Aug. 1. 
  • Lupo by Wolfgang Puck, 3950 S. Las Vegas Blvd., from 6:45-10:52 p.m. Aug. 3. 
  • Bay Essentials Convenience Store, 3950 S. Las Vegas Blvd., from 1-5 p.m. Aug. 6. 
  • Backstage Deli, 3900 S. Las Vegas Blvd., from 7-9 a.m. Aug. 6.
  • Aureole, 3950 S. Las Vegas Blvd., from 7-11:30 p.m. Aug. 5. 

Symptoms of the disease will start to appear 14-21 days after exposure, and anyone who may have contracted measles from this case will likely start to show symptoms any time between Aug. 15-22. 

“It is highly contagious, measles, and we want to make sure the people know they could have been exposed at the locations that we listed,” Public Information Manager Jennifer Sizemore said. 

Symptoms of measles begin with a fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two to three days after the first symptoms, little white spots appear inside the mouth. After that, the infected person will break out with a rash of little red spots or bumps which typically start on the face and then spread down the body.

In this Sept. 21, 2018, file photo, the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino reflects the last sunlight of the day along the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada. | Associated Press photo by John Locher, St. George News

Complications from measles are more common in children under 5, pregnant women, older adults and those with compromised immune systems. One in 10 people who get measles will have either diarrhea or ear infections that can lead to deafness in at least one ear.

More severe complications include pneumonia, which is the most common cause of death in children with measles and affects 1 in 20, or brain swelling, which can lead to deafness or intellectual disabilities. Around 1 in 4 people who contract measles will require hospitalization.

Anyone who may have been exposed and develops a rash, fever or any other symptoms should see a doctor immediately. Because the disease is so contagious, the health district recommends that anyone with these symptoms contact their health care provider by phone before visiting in person so they can make arrangements to protect other patients. 

The best way to protect against measles is to receive the vaccination against it, which is highly effective. It is typically given to children in two doses, one at 1 years old and the second between 4 and 6 years old. The full dose is about 97% effective at preventing the disease. 

Photo by s-dmit/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

“The good news is that in Nevada, we see that most people are getting their childhood vaccines against measles. So, we’re not seeing large pockets of people who are vaccine-hesitant, and there’s a good chance that, even though this person came into contact or was in the same room with thousands of people, the majority of those people were either previously immunized or they were at the age where they may have had measles as a kid and so they have immunity to it,” Health District investigator Vit Kraushaar said. 

A similar situation occurred in March of this year when people on the Las Vegas strip were exposed to a person with measles. No other cases of measles were reported as a result of the exposure, and Kraushaar is hopeful that this case will have a similar outcome.

“It’s just sort of luck of the draw whether that person would come into contact with someone who’s too young to be immunized, or just happens to find an adult who has never had an immunization or is at that age where they wouldn’t have had it as a kid,” he said. 

Immunizations are available at most local health department locations. Hours and locations for health department immunization clinics can be found online for both Southern Nevada and Southern Utah

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