measles public domain pic from CDC

This photograph from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the skin rash on a patient’s abdomen three days after the onset of a measles infection. 

The number of measles cases with links to Lancaster County has risen but the danger to the public has not, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Spokesman Nate Wardle said Tuesday that the two more confirmed cases and two more suspected cases happened before the confirmed case reported Friday.

Measles has arrived in Lancaster County [update]

“These are all people who no longer have the disease,” he said. “It’s important to know where they got sick from, how they became sick; that’s the work we are doing now.”

Wardle said any potential public exposures from the cases were long enough ago that any resulting measles cases would have showed up by now.

“If people are concerned that they may get the measles from these additional cases — that’s not going to happen, and we want to make sure that the public’s reassured that that’s not the case,” he said.

The sequence

None of the people were vaccinated, and all the cases are believed to be linked, according to Wardle.

He said the two people with suspected cases are believed to have been exposed while traveling internationally.

The people with the new confirmed cases are Lancaster County residents believed to been exposed to the international travelers while in Pennsylvania, but became ill out of state and weren’t in Pennsylvania while infectious, he said.

The person whose confirmed case was reported Friday is believed to have been exposed to the second two people in New York, then came to Lancaster County and self-isolated, according to Wardle.

“We found out when the person came back to Pennsylvania,” he said. “That’s when we got involved.”

The department conducted multiple interviews with that person to determine that there were no public exposures, Wardle said Friday. 

Officials always urge people to protect themselves and others by getting vaccinated. They also say anyone who suspects they may have measles call the doctor first, so arrangements can be made to avoid potentially exposing others.

Beyond that, they are not recommending any special precautions at this time.