For Immediate Release - September 03, 2013

State Health Officials Alert Residents About Potential Exposure to Measles at Two Area Hospitals

Those exposed are urged to contact their health care providers if symptoms develop

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed two cases of measles which were diagnosed during the last two weeks of August at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Metrowest Hospital in Framingham. Measles is very contagious, and people, who are not immune, visiting these hospitals on the below specified dates may be at risk for developing measles or may now be developing symptoms of the disease. Anyone who visited these hospital locations on any of the dates listed and is showing symptoms of measles are advised to contact their health care provider. Both hospitals have been reaching out to individuals at high risk of exposure, and are collaborating with DPH and local health authorities to ensure that all exposed individuals have this information.

Exposures occurred at the following locations and times:

Massachusetts General Hospital, BostonMedical Walk-in Clinic8/17, 8/19
Massachusetts General Hospital, BostonEmergency Department8/20
Massachusetts General Hospital, BostonInpatient8/20, 8/21, 8/22, 8/23
Metrowest Hospital, FraminghamEmergency Department8/23, 8/24
Metrowest Hospital, FraminghamInpatient8/23, 8/24

Those who were exposed and begin to develop symptoms of measles should call their healthcare provider before visiting an office, clinic or emergency department. Visiting a healthcare facility may put others at risk and should be avoided.

Early symptoms of measles occur 10 days to 2 weeks after exposure and may resemble a cold (with fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes) but a rash occurs on the skin 2-4 days after the initial symptoms develop. The rash usually appears first on the head and moves downward. The rash typically lasts a few days and then disappears in the same order.

People with measles may be contagious up to 4 days before the rash appears and for four days after the day the rash appears.

People who have had measles in the past or who have been vaccinated against measles per CDC recommendations are considered immune. The CDC recommendations are:

  • Children. Children should receive their first dose of Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12-15 months. School-aged children need two doses of MMR vaccine.
  • Adults. Adults should have at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Certain groups at high risk need two doses of MMR, such as international travelers, health care workers, and college students. Adults born in the U.S. before 1957 are considered to be immune to measles from past exposures.

“Fortunately, most people have been vaccinated against measles,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Al DeMaria. “Our efforts now are to identify people who may be at risk for getting ill and who may spread the disease further, and asking them to telephone their providers rather than going directly to a healthcare facility.”

For additional information, contact your local health department or DPH at 617-983-6800. Further information is available in the following download:

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