Officials: Possible measles exposure in Durham may have happened at coffee shop, day care

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – People may have been exposed to measles at a day care and a coffee shop in Durham, leading to an investigation by county health officials.

Officials did not confirm a positive case during a Monday press conference. They’re waiting on additional testing from a national lab, but did say preliminary testing done locally came back positive.

UPDATE: Measles ruled out in Durham County after recent scare, health officials say

The two sites of the possible exposures are Bean Traders Coffee and the Goddard School. Officials said they’re working with staff at the Goddard School to determine if students and staff are vaccinated.

The Durham County Department of Public Health said Saturday it was informing the public “out of an abundance of caution.”

“It’s so contagious, that if one person has measles, up to 90 percent of individuals who are exposed will become infected,” said Durham County Public Health Medical Director Dr. Arlene Sena.

“We don’t want measles hanging around,” Durham resident Steve Quessy said. “It can be pretty serious.”

Quessy said he had measles when he was younger.

“You come out in a rash, your whole skin is covered in red blotches,” Quessy said. “You just felt miserable. It’s like having the flu.”

Saturday, Bean Traders Coffee posted a statement on Instagram saying in part, “We are sad to have this take place in our shop. We are diligent with our own employee health policies to keep our public safe.”

“It’s a little concerning, but we’re not going to let it stop us from going out and doing stuff,” said Karen Gilbert. She is a mother of two who frequents Bean Traders Coffee. “I think it’s important to look out for other people —especially if you like going out and doing stuff. It’s not just your own’re putting other people at risk too.” 

There were three cases of measles in North Carolina in 2018. There have been none yet almost halfway through 2019.

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