UPDATE: May 21, 2014, 11 a.m.
WASHINGTON — Health officials are expanding an investigation into measles exposure in Northern Virginia following the confirmation of a second case of measles.
Measles was found in a person who had close contact with a person diagnosed with measles in late April. The initial case involved a person who had been in and around Loudoun and Fairfax counties.
The second person may have exposed others between May 11 and May 15 in Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington counties in Virginia; Montgomery County, Maryland; and in Washington, D.C.
People who may have been at the locations listed below at the times specified may be at risk of measles, particularly if they have never received the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine.
People who have received at least one dose of the vaccine in the past are at very low risk.
Measles is highly contagious, and people who suspect they may have measles should confine themselves to their homes and contact their primary care physician immediately.
Symptoms include a fever of more than 101-degrees, runny nose, watery eyes and cough. After about a week, a rash may appear on the face and spread to the body.
Anyone exposed to measles between May 11 and May 15 may exhibit symptoms as late as June 5.
Preventive treatment may be available for those exposed on May 15, but treatment must be completed by May 21 to be effective. People exposed May 15 should call 1- 877-275-8343 for more information as soon as possible.
The following is a list of possible exposures from May 11 to May 15:
EARLIER: May 6, 2014 5:33 p.m.
WASHINGTON — A patient with the measles may have exposed people at a dozen or more locations in two different counties, health officials in Northern Virginia are warning.
The health departments of Loudoun and Fairfax counties are trying to identify those who may have been exposed between April 23 and May 1 at grocery stores, medical offices and even a Home Depot.
“Measles is a very contagious virus,” says David Goodfriend, director of the Loudoun County Health Department. “While we don’t have many cases of measles, we do take each case very seriously.”
Those who visited the following sites should be on the look out for the symptoms of measles:
Anyone who visited one of the locations has a low risk of becoming sick if they have had a least one dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine in the past.
“If you’re fully vaccinated, your risk of becoming infected is very low, even if you were in the same location,” Goodfriend says.
For those who haven’t been vaccinated, the prospects change.
“If they were in the same room with that individual, or in that room up to two hours later, they could be at risk of becoming infected,” he says.
Health officials say anyone who notices the symptoms of measles should limit their exposure to others and to call their doctor.
Measles is a highly contagious illness spread through coughing, sneezing or contact with the nose, mouth or throat secretions of an infected person. Symptoms typically appear in stages. First, most patients have a fever greater than 101 degrees, runny nose, watery red eyes and a cough.
The second stage begins about three to seven days later when a rash appears on the face and spreads over the entire body.
Officials say anyone exposed during this time could develop symptoms as late as May 22.
Those with questions about the measles investigation can call 1-877-275-8343 or learn more from the state health department.