The county announced on Tuesday it was investigating a possible case of measles in a Fairfax County resident. Health officials identified potential exposure sites, and the individual is in self-isolation at home. The test to confirm the case would take 24 hours to complete, they said.
The county did not say where in the county the resident lives.
More than 100 cases of measles have been diagnosed in 23 states in 2015, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. That marks a rapid increase in this country of a disease that was considered eradicated 15 years ago. CDC officials have said pockets of residents who refuse vaccinations are causing the rise.
From the county health department:
People who have received at least one dose of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine in the past are at very low risk of being infected with measles. Measles is easily preventable through safe and effective MMR vaccine. The best protection against future measles cases is the on-time vaccination of all susceptible people.
Measles is a highly contagious illness that is spread through coughing, sneezing and contact with secretions from the nose, mouth and 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.
Fairfax County Public Schools require students to have the MMR vaccine. However, families can take a medical or religious exemption from the requirement. In a story last week, Reston Now outlined how many area children currently take the exemption.