Health officials warn of possible measles exposure in Northern Virginia


DULLES, Va. – The Virginia Department of Health is warning the public of a potential measles exposure in Northern Virginia for people who were at various locations during specified time frames.

The dates, times, and locations listed below are potential exposure sites associated with the confirmed case of measles:

  • 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 Boulevard, Haymarket, VA 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, VA in the emergency department, including the waiting area, on Tuesday, June 4 from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

“Northern Virginia area health officials are mounting a coordinated effort to identify people who may have been exposed,” the department wrote.

Measles is one of the most highly contagious diseases in existence, spreading through coughing and sneezing, and can linger in the air for up to two hours. If someone who is not immune to the virus breathes the air or touches an infected surface, they can become infected, according to the CDC.

Once a person has measles, about 90% of close contacts who are susceptible to it will develop the disease. Early on, measles can be confused for other viral illnesses such as the flu. But the red blotchy rash that comes with it may help set it apart.

What should you do if you were at one of the above locations at the time specified?

  • If you have 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 any action.
  • 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. However, to achieve complete immunity, 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. 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.

The number of cases of measles in the United States this year has surpassed 1,000, the US Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday. The agency said there have been 1,001 cases so far this year.

This year, which is barely half over, has the greatest number of cases in a single year in nearly three decades.

The cases in the Unites States have been imported from international travel. Local outbreaks begin when the highly contagious illness spreads to those who are not immune to the virus due to a lack of vaccination. With the busy summer travel season just about to get underway there’s concern about continued importation of measles among vacationers.

Cases have been reported in more than half of US states. New York has been the largest contributor to this year’s unfortunate milestone with nearly 700 cases of measles reported this year in the state.

Virginia residents with additional questions about this measles investigation can call 571-233-7314. For more information on measles, click here.

The CNN Wire contributed to this article. 



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