Pennsylvania's latest measles patient is a York doctor who was fully vaccinated against the disease, according to a social media post by WellSpan Health.
In an audio recording shared by the system, Dr. Jennifer McCabe of WellSpan Stony Brook Health Center said she had the recommended two shots of the MMR vaccine.
And blood tests — including one in the last few days — repeatedly showed that she had presumed immunity to the disease.
Over the weekend, Pennsylvania Department of Health announced a fresh round of potential measles exposures in York County.
They included much of last Monday through Thursday at the office where McCabe practiced — WellSpan Stony Brook Health Center, 4222 E. Market St., Lincoln Highway, York.
“WellSpan and I followed all the CDC and Department of Health guidelines,” McCabe said. “My vaccinations didn’t prevent me from getting the measles, but it did lessen my symptoms and and likely made me less contagious to the community.”
The Stony Brook practice and WellSpan York Hospital were among the handful of places in Hershey and York where where the department previously noted possible exposures in late August.
People affected by the August exposures could still become sick within the next week, according to the department.
The CDC says one MMR shot is is about 93% effective against measles, and the full recommended dose of two shots is about 97% effective.
McCabe ended the recording by imploring people to “get vaccinated and educate yourself.”
“If everyone gets vaccinated, the likelihood that people like me would be exposed is very small,” she said.
Measles can be infectious before people realize they have the disease, and that is what happened with McCabe, according to WellSpan.
McCabe said she did not have symptoms while treating patients and has not left her home since the symptoms began.
WellSpan spokesman Brett Marcy said the system started requiring all newly hired employees to show proof of full vaccination or a blood test indicating presumed immunity in September 2018, and is now reviewing records for everyone hired before then and requiring all without record of full vaccination to receive the necessary immunizations.
After the August incidents, Marcy said, WellSpan started precautions including screening all hospital patients and visitors for potential measles exposure.
And, he said, there are “negative airflow” rooms cordoned off from the airflow of the rest of the building for any measles patients that would need to be treated there.
Pennsylvania has had 15 confirmed measles cases so far this year, according to the department. That included a June one in Lancaster County and two previous ones linked here.
Monday’s report from the CDC was the first in eight months with no new confirmed U.S. cases of measles, the Associated Press reported.
That’s because the latest Pennsylvania case was only confirmed Monday — too late to be included in the count — according to the department.
If you are a WellSpan patient experiencing measles symptoms, or are concerned about a possible exposure at a WellSpan facility, please call the WellSpan Measles Exposure Hotline at 1-855-851-3641 rather than go to a care facility. https://t.co/zbewCXHchk— WellSpan Health (@WellSpan) September 15, 2019
WellSpan physician Jennifer McCabe, M.D., speaks publicly about her diagnosis as the second confirmed case of measles in York County – despite being fully vaccinated – and why she still believes everyone should get vaccinated. https://t.co/sUMaRAzjYM— WellSpan Health (@WellSpan) September 16, 2019
Next week's report will have at least 1, as it was just confirmed today in York County, Pennsylvania -- in no less than a fully vaccinated doctor who said blood tests repeatedly showed presumed immunity. https://t.co/80UvG1OL8V https://t.co/XDAZKeWCTJ— Heather Stauffer (@HStaufferLNP) September 16, 2019