Northern Virginia health departments are working to identify people may have been exposed to a person with measles this week.
“Out of a abundance of caution” health districts in Northern Virginia are informing people who were at several locations in the area “that they may have been exposed to a person with measles,” according to a health department news release.
“Northern Virginia area health officials are mounting a coordinated effort to identify people who may have been exposed,” the news release said.
The following are the dates, times and locations of the potential exposure sites:
- Dulles International Airport in Terminal A and Baggage Claim level on Sunday, June 2, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
- Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical Center, 15225 Heathcote Blvd., Haymarket, in the emergency department on Sunday, June 2, at 11 p.m. through early Monday, June 3, at 4:30 a.m.
- Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, 3600 Joseph Siewick Drive, Fairfax, in the emergency department, including the waiting area, on Tuesday, June 4, from 3 to 5:30 p.m.
According to a Virginia Department of Health news release, “measles is a highly contagious illness that is spread through coughing, sneezing and contact with droplets from the nose, mouth or 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 the date of exposure in this case, an infected person may develop symptoms as late as Tuesday, June 25, according to the news release.
If you were at one of the above locations at the time specified and have received two doses of measles-containing vaccine, “you are protected and do not need to take any action,” according to the health department news release.
If you have received only one dose of a measles-containing vaccine, “you are very likely to be protected and your risk of being infected with measles from any of these exposures is very low,” according to the news release. But, “to achieve complete immunity,” health department officials advise that you contact your health care provider about getting a second vaccine dose.
If you have never received a measles-containing vaccine nor had a documented case of measles, “you may be at risk of getting measles from this exposure,” according to the news release.
Health department officials advise that you “contact your local health department or health care provider for advice on possible intervention to decrease your risk of becoming infected or other precautions you need to take.”
If you notice the symptoms of measles, stay home and away from others and immediately call your primary health care provider or health department to discuss further care. Call ahead before going to the office or the emergency room and tell them that you were exposed to measles.
“Measles is easily preventable through a safe and effective MMR vaccine,” health department officials said. “The best protection against future measles cases is the vaccination of all susceptible persons.”
Two doses are recommended for most people, with the first dose given at age 12-15 months and the second prior to kindergarten (age 4-6 years).
For more information about this measles investigation, call 571-233-7314. For more information on measles, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/epidemiology-fact-sheets/measles-rubeola.