Health Officials Warn of Potential Measles Exposure in Montgomery County
Out of an abundance of caution, health officials are investigating potential exposures to a person with measles in the National Capital Region. This effort expands the recent investigation of a measles case in late April 2014 in Loudoun and Fairfax Counties in Virginia.
The second case of measles was confirmed in a person who was a close contact of the first case. National Capital Region health officials are mounting a coordinated effort to identify people who may have been exposed to this second case.
New potential exposure sites and times have been identified. The exposures occurred between May 11 and May 15. The locations are in Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington Counties, Virginia; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Washington, D.C. People who were at the locations listed below, at the times indicated, may have been exposed to the measles virus.
Listed below are the dates, times and locations:
For individuals who were exposed at any of the above locations during the times specified:
- Preventive treatment may be available for those who were at the exposure sites on May 15 only. The preventive treatment is particularly important for high risk individuals (e.g., pregnant women, infants under the age of one, and immunosuppressed people). However, this preventive treatment must be administered today, May 21, to be effective. Please call 1-877-275-8343 as soon as possible to be assessed for exposure risk.
- If you have never received MMR vaccine, you may be at risk of measles. Monitor your health and if you notice symptoms of measles (see below), immediately isolate yourself in your home to limit your exposure to others and call your primary health care provider to discuss further care.
- Call ahead before going to the doctor’s office or the emergency room and tell them that you were exposed to measles.
Measles is a highly contagious illness that is spread through coughing, sneezing, and contact with secretions from the nose, mouth, and throat of an infected individual. Measles symptoms usually appear in two stages. In the first stage, most people have a fever of greater than 101 degrees, runny nose, watery red eyes and a cough. The second stage begins around the third to seventh day when a rash begins to appear on the face and spreads over the entire body. Based on these dates of exposure, anyone infected with the measles virus may develop symptoms as late as June 5, 2014.
People who have received at least one dose of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine in the past are at very low risk of being infected with measles from any of these exposures.
Measles is easily preventable through safe and effective MMR vaccine. The best protection against future measles cases is the on-time vaccination of all susceptible persons. Two doses are recommended for most individuals with the first dose given at age 12-15 months and the second prior to kindergarten entry (age 4-6 years).
Potentially exposed individuals with questions may call 1-877-275-8343.