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LIRR taking extra steps to clean system after measles case

Passengers exit an LIRR train at Jamaica Station

Passengers exit an LIRR train at Jamaica Station on March 22. Credit: Howard Simmons

The LIRR is taking extra measures to clean parts of its system after learning that a person with measles traveled on its trains last week, the railroad’s president said Friday.

Although LIRR president Phillip Eng said state and Nassau County health officials had assured the railroad that any potential contamination from the infected rider would no longer exist because the virus could only live for two hours -- whether airborne or on surfaces -- the railroad was taking the steps “out of an abundance of caution.”

“We've identified the trains and the stations that the person may have traveled on or walked through,” Eng said. “We've instructed our car cleaning crews and station crews to give a full wipe-down on areas where a person may have contact with in advance of the normal cyclical cleaning.”

On Thursday night, the LIRR sent a message to its customers informing them that a person with a confirmed case of measles traveled on the railroad on Sept. 11, 12 and 14, including at the Mineola station, Hempstead, Jamaica and Penn Station — through which 650,000 people travel each day.

"Public health authorities [Thursday] assured us that there is no risk from this individual to anyone riding the LIRR today or in the future,” the LIRR said its statement. “However, anyone who visited the same locations at the time the infected person was also present, and up to two hours after, may have been exposed."

This is the second confirmed case of measles in Nassau County. Earlier this month, Nassau officials announced the county's first case of measles since 2013.

The only other recent case on Long Island, in Suffolk County, was confirmed in April.

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