Health officials in Maryland and Montgomery County reported Friday on a confirmed case of measles in a resident of Montgomery County resident.
Authorities warn that anyone who visited the Cabin John Ice Rink, located at 10610 Westlake Drive in Bethesda on Wednesday, May 24, between the hours of 6 and 9 p.m. and a professional office building located at 16220 Frederick Road in Gaithersburg on Tuesday, May 30 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., may have been exposed to measles.
There were five confirmed measles cases reported in Maryland in 2019, and there have been no measles cases reported since then.
Measles is a contagious vaccine-preventable viral infection which is easily spread to unvaccinated persons through coughing, sneezing and secretions from the mouth. The measles virus may remain in the air for up to two hours.
People, especially those who are not vaccinated against measles, who were at either of these locations during the possible exposure times should monitor themselves for any early symptoms of measles, especially fever. People who develop a fever or other symptoms of measles should contact their health care provider. Those with symptoms should not go to childcare, school, work or out in public, as they might have the early symptoms of measles and might be contagious. People with these symptoms should call their doctor about their symptoms before showing up in the waiting room so that the office can take measures to prevent spread to other patients.
Measles symptoms typically develop 10-14 days after exposure to the virus but can develop as soon as seven days and as long as 21 days after exposure. Early symptoms of measles are fever more than 101 degrees F; runny nose; cough; and red, watery eyes. Usually, one to four days after the early symptoms, a red rash appears on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. A person with measles is contagious beginning four days before the rash appears until four days after the rash begins. People are considered immune to measles if they were born in the United States before 1957, previously had measles or have had two measles vaccine shots.
Those who are most at risk of complications from measles infection are pregnant women, infants less than one year old, and those who are immune compromised. Such persons who might have been exposed on May 24 or May 30 should consult with their healthcare provider to see whether or not treatment with a medicine called immune globulin, which can help prevent measles if given within six days of exposure, is indicated.
Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to measles or who might have measles infection should call their doctor’s office for instructions prior to going for an evaluation.