UPDATE: Virginia Health Officials Investigating Potential Measles Exposure in Northern Virginia

June 22, 2019 – UPDATE

Final testing from the CDC indicates that the patient did not have measles. The Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District received final confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the patient who visited the Fauquier Health Emergency Department on June 17-18 did not have measles, but a rash in reaction to the MMR vaccine.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: According to the CDC, The MMR vaccine is very safe, and it is effective at preventing measles, mumps, and rubella. Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. Most people who get MMR vaccine do not have any serious problems with it. Getting MMR vaccine is much safer than getting measles, mumps or rubella. Side effects from the measles vaccine can include sore arm from the shot, fever and a mild rash.

Original News Release:

June 19, 2019

Virginia Health Officials Investigating Potential Measles Exposure in Northern Virginia
Northern Virginia Health Departments Are Working Together to Identify People Who Are at Risk
(Fauquier, Va.) — Out of an abundance of caution, the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District is informing residents who were in the Fauquier Health Emergency Department during the times listed below, that they may have been exposed to a patient potentially infected with measles. Health officials from the hospital and local health department are working diligently to identify people who may have been exposed. Residents identified will be contacted by Fauquier Health or public health for further guidance. Listed below are the dates, times, and location of the potential exposure site associated with the suspect case of measles:

  • Fauquier Health Emergency Department, 500 Hospital Drive, Warrenton, Monday, June 17 from 3:10 p.m. to Tuesday, June 18, 12:35 a.m.

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. Based on the date of exposure, we have determined that if you were infected with measles, you may develop symptoms as late as July 9, 2019.

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 aheadbefore going to the office or the emergency room and tell them that you were exposed to measles.

Measles is easily preventable through a safe and effective MMR vaccine. The best protection against future measles cases is the vaccination of all susceptible persons. Two doses are recommended for most individuals with the first dose given at age 12-15 months and the second prior to kindergarten entry (age 4-6 years).

Measles is common in many parts of the world, including popular tourist destinations. All persons who will be traveling internationally should be evaluated for measles immunity and vaccinated as needed. Infants too young to be vaccinated should consider avoiding travel to areas with measles until they can be vaccinated.

Residents with additional questions about measles should contact their primary care provider, the Fauquier Health Department at 540-316-6400 or Daniel Ferrell, District Epidemiologist, at 540-316-6278. For more information on measles, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/epidemiology-fact-sheets/measles-rubeola/.

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