RadioOnFire.com – Maryland health officials on Friday confirmed a case of measles in a Maryland resident.
Officials warn anyone who visited 4000 Old Court Road in Pikesville on Tuesday that they may have been exposed to measles between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. that day. People who may have been exposed at other locations are being notified directly.
Measles is a vaccine-preventable virus that can easily be spread to unvaccinated people through coughing, sneezing and oral secretions. It can remain the air for up to two hours. Officials warn anyone who was at the location, particularly those who aren’t vaccinated, to watch for early symptoms, especially fever.
Anyone who develops a fever or other symptoms should call their doctor, and shouldn’t go to child care, school, work or out in public so as to avoid putting anyone else at risk. Those with symptoms should call their doctor about their symptoms before arriving to the waiting room so that the office can work to prevent spread to other patients.
Symptoms typically show up 10 to 14 days after exposure, but can also develop as soon as seven days and as late as 21 days. Symptoms include a fever in excess of 101 degrees, a runny nose, cough, and red and watery eyes. Usually, one to four days after the first symptoms, a red rash appears on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. A person with measles is contagious from four days before the rash appears until four days after the rash begins.
People are considered immune if they were born in the U.S. before 1957, previously had measles or have had two measles vaccine shots. However, pregnant women, infants less than 1 year old and immunosuppressed people are at particular risk. Such people who may have been exposed in this case should consult with their doctor about medicine to prevent development of measles.
There was one confirmed measles case last year, a travel-related case imported from the country of Georgia.
Nationally, health officials say the number of U.S. measles cases through the first three months of this year have surpassed the count for all of 2018. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a preliminary count of 387 cases through March. There were 372 last year.
Most people who get measles have not been vaccinated. In the U.S., most outbreaks are sparked by travelers who picked up the virus in countries where measles is more common.