Washington, DC – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in collaboration with the Health Departments in Prince George’s County and the District of Columbia, is, out of an abundance of caution, informing people who were in certain locations including areas of Prince George’s Hospital Center (at specific times during May 9-13) and Children’s National Medical Center (specifically on May 13) about potential exposure to measles. While most individuals in the United States are vaccinated against measles, exposure to it poses potential risk to those who have not been vaccinated.
The patient contracted measles outside of the United States; developed symptoms here in the country; and their diagnosis was confirmed Friday, May 19. Listed below are the dates, times and locations of the potential exposures associated with the patient diagnosed with measles:
● May 8 – The Dept. of Social Services Building at 6110 Allentown Road, Suitland, Md. 20746.
● May 8 – The Social Security Building at 425 Brightseat Road, Hyattsville, Md. 20785, from 10:30 am to 4 pm.
● May 9 – May 10 Prince George’s Hospital Center Emergency Department in Cheverly, Md., from 8 pm to May 10 at 2 am. The measles patient rode the #12 public transit bus to and from Prince George’s Hospital Center.
● May 11 – Prince George’s Hospital Center Emergency Department from 3 pm to 7 pm.
● May 12-May 13 – Prince George’s Hospital Center Emergency Department from 4:15 pm to May 13 at 10:47 am.
● May 13 – Children’s National Medical Center, 111 Michigan Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20010, main atrium lobby between 8:30 am and 11 am.
The patient was admitted to Children’s National on May 13, and was appropriately isolated for a majority of their hospitalization.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the measles virus is highly contagious to unvaccinated individuals and spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. The infection starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. About the third to seventh day following infection, a rash begins to appear on the face and spreads over the rest of the body. A person infected on May 15 could develop symptoms as late as June 5.
Make sure you and your child are protected with measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Measles is preventable through safe and effective MMR vaccination. The best protection against future measles cases is the on-time 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). Find Maryland’s immunization guidance here.
If you have received at least one dose of the MMR vaccine, you carry a very low risk of measles infection. But if you have not received a dose of the vaccine, you might be at risk of measles infection. If you notice the symptoms of measles, immediately limit your exposure to other people. Individuals who are concerned about possible exposure and vulnerability to measles should contact their primary health care provider or local health department before visiting a provider office or health care facility. Taking these steps reduces the chances of potentially exposing other people to measles. Health and Mental Hygiene also is providing a resource phone line: (410) 795-7365.
The CDC states that measles remains a common disease in many parts of the world, including areas in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. Worldwide, 36 cases of measles per 1 million persons are reported each year; about 134,200 die. In the United States, most of the measles cases result from international travel. For more information on measles, please visit our website at https://goo.gl/W58K1j.