Health officials warn of measles exposure at Berkeley Bowl grocery store

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- The city of Berkeley is warning people who shopped at Berkeley Bowl last week that may have been exposed to measles.

Dr. Lisa Hernandez is a Berkeley public health officer. She says a local doctor notify the city that his patient was infected with measles.

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The city conducted an investigation and determined that only Berkeley Bowl was at risk for exposure. Berkeley Bowl is a popular grocery store that sells high-quality and organic products.

"There were other exposures, but we don't need to notify the public because we have identified everyone who was at risk (at those locations)," explains Dr. Hernandez.

The infected person, who has only been identified as an adult who lives in Berkeley, shopped at Berkeley Bowl on May 7 between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

According to Dr. Hernandez, the virus is easily transmitted. A cough or sneeze can linger in the air for up to an hour. It's so contagious, she says, that it can infect up to 90 percent of people who are not vaccinated.

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In addition, people infected with measles may not show any symptoms for the first four days, which is when the infected person is most contagious.

First stage symptoms include-- runny nose, red eyes, cough and fever, followed by a rash.

Berkeley health officials say Berkeley Bowl is no longer at risk, and that there are no other reports of measles in Berkeley or Alameda County.
One Berkeley couple, who didn't want to be identified, made a special trip to Berkeley Bowl after learning of the measles case.

"(My wife) checked her credit cards receipt to see if she was here that day. She was. So (we) then came to the store to see what time she was here," says one of the women.

She says her wife shopped in the morning, while the infected person shopped late afternoon. Even though the family may not have been exposed, they are still concerned, especially for their daughter.

"It's scary to realize that at our grocery store, someone had measles and was walking around," she says.

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Dr. Hernandez says if anyone was exposed, it could take up to 21 days before they show any symptoms-- and that's the concern for city health officials.

They are advising anyone who came to Berkeley Bowl on May 7 to continue to check for symptoms through May 28.
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