People who were at Inova Fairfax Hospital’s emergency department earlier this week may have been exposed to measles, the Virginia Department of Health reported today (Wednesday).
According to VDH, an unvaccinated child who contracted measles while traveling abroad had visited the hospital at 3300 Gallows Road during the following times:
- May 15: 5:30 p.m. to May 16 at 2 a.m.
- May 16: 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
The individual was also present at the Kaiser Permanente Ashburn Medical Center in Loudoun County from 2-5 p.m. on May 13.
“Outside of these specific locations and times, it is currently believed that the risk to the community is low,” the department said in a news release.
Individuals who may have been exposed at Inova can contact VDH’s Fairfax call center at 202-851-9616.
VDH says anyone who has gotten two doses of a vaccine against measles is protected and doesn’t need to take any action.
Those who have only gotten one dose of vaccine are likely protected, but the department advises contacting a health care provider and scheduling a second dose to ensure full protection.
Anyone who has not been vaccinated against measles or contracted the disease should contact the Fairfax County Health Department at 703-246-2411 or a health care provider.
“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,” VDH said. “Call ahead before going to the medical office or the emergency room and tell them that you were exposed to measles.”
Symptoms of the highly contagious disease typically emerge in two stages:
Measles is a highly contagious illness that is spread through coughing, sneezing, and contact with droplets from the nose, mouth, or 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.
According to the department, measles are “easily preventable” with a vaccination, and children should get two doses, first between the ages of 12-15 months and a second one before they’re 4-6. VDH also recommends that everyone get evaluated for measles immunity and vaccinated before traveling internationally.
A previous potential exposure to measles was reported at Inova Fairfax in February. The Fairfax Health District, which includes the county and cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, also recorded 12 cases last fall as part of an outbreak among people who came from Afghanistan during the U.S.’s evacuation efforts.
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