BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland health officials are investigating a confirmed case of the measles.
The case of measles was diagnosed on May 23, and health officials say the person contracted measles outside the United States and is currently under medical care.
“This was an adult and when the person realized that they really were sick went for care, that’s when we were able to get some blood work and do some testing and realize that it was measles,” said Cindy Edwards with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.
Before the person was diagnosed with the “highly contagious virus,” they made stops at the following locations:
- Washington Dulles International Airport in Dulles, VA, on May 15, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.
- Nordstrom Rack, located at 15760 Shady Grove Rd., in Gaithersburg, on May 17, from 3 to 6 p.m.
- Circuit Court of Maryland, located at 50 Maryland Ave. in Rockville, on May 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Measles is spread through the air when someone with the disease coughs or sneezes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measles can also live in the air for up to two hours.
Symptoms usually appear in two stages, according to the health department, and “in the first stage, most people develop a fever greater than 101 degrees, runny nose, watery 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. Some may develop symptoms up to 21 days after exposure.”
Health officials warn it can be several days after exposure before symptoms develop. However, those who have been vaccinated are unlikely to get ill.
The recently diagnosed patient is undergoing treatment.
Some county employees told WJZ that they were notified about the possible exposure. Dominique Smith said she didn’t know, but she and her newborn have already been vaccinated against the highly contagious disease.
Those who believe they may have been exposed to measles should contact their doctor or local health department before going to a healthcare facility. Officials also urge that those who believe they have the disease should limit exposure to others.
According to the World Health Organization measles is one of the leading causes of death in children.
Those with questions can call the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services’ Disease Control Office at 240-777-1755. Calls after hours or on the weekend can be directed to the County’s Crisis Center at 240-777-4000.