State Health Officials Investigate Possible Measles Exposure in Northern Virginia

Health officials are warning people in Northern Virginia that they may have been exposed to an individual with measles.

The individual visited several locations in the area, according to the the Virginia Department of Health.

In a release, the department detailed possible exposure locations and times:

  • 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.

State officials offered the following advice if individuals believe they were at the above locations during the specified times:

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.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads easily through coughing in sneezing. Its bacteria thrive in the air for two hours.

Over the last decade, the incidence of measles has spiked. In the first five months of this year alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cited 971 cases — the largest number of cases in the United States since 1994.

Photo via Michael Schiffer/Unsplash

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