Officials: Thousands exposed to measles on San Francisco public transit

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Train arriving at the Lafayette BART station. (Source: Franco Folini, Flickr)

SAN FRANCISCO – Tens of thousands of Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) riders were exposed to measles last week when an infected Contra Costa County resident traveled to and from work in San Francisco.

According to a report on KTXL, county health officials confirmed the measles case, and said the infected individual used the transit system February 4 through February 6 to get to their job at LinkedIn. The person also spent time at a San Francisco-area restaurant, potentially exposing patrons there to the illness as well.

Anyone who used the BART system between the Lafayette Station and the Montgomery Street Station from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., respectively, should check themselves for signs of the illness. Symptoms include high fever, a runny nose, coughing, watery and red eyes, followed by a rash on the face and neck, which then spreads to the rest of the body. Said rash can last several days. The virus can lead to encephalitis (brain inflammation), pneumonia, and even death.

On its website, BART said it uses an industrial-strength disinfectant to clean its trains during the day and in the evening. The measles virus spreads through the air and can live in the air for up to two hours.

It is not clear how and when the person contracted the illness. In December, a person with measles visited Disneyland in southern California, leading to more than 120 people catching it.

As always, the best way to avoid catching the virus is be vaccinated.