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Health Alert: Measles Exposure in the District of Columbia

Monday, February 28, 2011
DOH is alerting residents and visitors to a potential measles exposure in some locations of the District between February 20-22, 2011.

(Washington, DC) — The District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH) is alerting residents and visitors to a potential measles exposure in some locations of the District between February 20-22, 2011. This is the same case of measles that the Virginia health authorities announced traveled through Dulles Airport. 

Potential Exposure Locations

The following locations were identified as places where exposure may have occurred. Anyone exposed to a person diagnosed with Measles should verify that they have received two doses of the Measles vaccine.  If you have not received two doses of the vaccine, or if you experience the symptoms listed below, please contact your healthcare provider.

Location Date Time of Potential Exposure 
D1 or D6 bus from Georgetown towards Columbia Heights February 21, 2011 10:30 am - 2:30 pm
S2 or S4 bus from Columbia Heights towards Georgetown February 21, 2011 1:30 - 5:30 pm
Potbelly’s Sandwich Shop
1400 Irving Street, NW
February 21, 2011  11 am - 5 pm

About Measles

Measles is an infectious respiratory (affecting the lungs and air passages) viral disease also known as ‘Rubeola’. Measles is a more severe disease in the very young and the malnourished. All persons who have not had the disease or who have not been successfully immunized are susceptible.  Measles is spread from person-to-person by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people or through the air from an infected person’s coughing or sneezing. Symptoms usually appear within 7 to 18 days of exposure, although they may occur as late as 21 days after exposure. A person with measles is highly contagious for approximately four days before the rash appears to at least four days after the rash appears.  There is no specific treatment for measles, though there are some medications that may lessen the severity of the symptoms.

Symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Conjunctivitis (red eye)
  • Cough
  • A red blotchy rash appearing on the 3rd to 7th day beginning on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.  

If you believe you have been exposed to measles:

  • Contact your healthcare provider, especially if you have never had the disease or have never been vaccinated.
  • A person with measles should remain at home for four days after the rash appears. 

Once an individual has had Measles, they generally develop lifelong immunity from the disease. Measles can be prevented by a two dose vaccination. This is a safe and highly effective vaccine. The first dose of Measles vaccine should be given between 12 and 15 months of age. A second dose of vaccine is given at school entry (4 to 6 years of age). Both doses are generally given as combined measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine. Adults are also able to receive the vaccine.

Additional information about Measles and other related health topics can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website