Health department investigates potential measles exposure in Northern Virginia

People who spent time at five Northern Virginia locations earlier this month might have been exposed to someone with measles.

The exposure could have occurred at one of the following five places, the Virginia Department of Health said:

  • Dulles International Airport, at the corridor from Gate C4 to the mobile lounge docks, the international arrivals building and the main terminal’s baggage claim area on Jan. 26 from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
  • Kabob Palace at 2333 S. Eads St. in Arlington from 9 p.m. on Jan. 26 to 1 a.m. on Jan. 27
  • Greenhouse Grill at 2222 Gallows Road in Dunn Loring on Jan. 27 from noon to 3 p.m.
  • Residence Inn by Marriott Fairfax at 8125 Gatehouse Road in Falls Church on Jan. 26 from 11 p.m. to midnight, all day Jan. 27 and 28 and Jan. 29 from midnight to 8:30 a.m.
  • Inova Fairfax Hospital’s emergency department and waiting area at 3300 Gallows Road in Falls Church on Jan. 27 and 28 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Jan. 29 from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Based on the exposure dates, anyone infected could develop symptoms as late as Feb. 19, the department said in a news release.

Measles symptoms appear in two stages, the department said. Initially, those infected have a fever of greater than 101 degrees, a runny nose, watery red eyes and a cough.

A facial rash begins to appear and spreads during the second stage.

This is what the Virginia Department of Health recommends if you visited one of the listed places at the specified times.

  • If you received two doses of a measles-containing vaccine (either the measles, mumps and rubella [MMR] vaccine or a measles only vaccine, which is available in other countries), you are protected and do not need to take action.
  • If you received only one dose of a measles-containing vaccine, you are likely to be protected and your risk of being infected with measles from any of these exposures is very low. However, to achieve complete immunity, contact your health care provider about getting a second vaccine dose.
  • If you never received a measles-containing vaccine nor had a documented case of measles, you may be at risk of getting measles from this exposure. Contact your local health department or health care provider for advice.
  • If you notice 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.

Anyone with additional questions about the current investigation can call the Fairfax County Health Department at 703-267-3511 or check the Virginia health department’s website for additional information.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 1,282 individual cases of measles were confirmed in the U.S. last year. It was the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1992.

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Scott Gelman

Scott Gelman is a digital editor and writer for WTOP. A South Florida native, Scott graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019. During his time in College Park, he worked for The Diamondback, the school’s student newspaper.

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