Health officials warn of potential measles exposure at multiple locations

BURLINGTON, Mass. - The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has confirmed a case of measles which was diagnosed at the Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington.

According to an email sent out by Lahey Health's Lexington Outpatient Center obtained by Boston 25 News, a patient showed up at the Lexington Primary Care practice with a fever and rash on Aug. 20.

That person was sent to the emergency room in Burlington. According to the Lahey Health's email, the patient said he or she had been exposed to measles while traveling.

"Upon learning of the exposure, we immediately enacted infectious disease protocols and isolated the patient in a negative air pressure room. We also contacted the Massachusetts Department of Public Health about the suspected measles diagnosis and they are in the process of confirming the diagnosis," the email read.

DPH said that, during their infectious period, the individual was at a number of locations and could have exposed others to measles.

Measles is very contagious and those who are not immune and have recently visited the locations listed below on the specified dates may be at risk for developing symptoms of the disease. Anyone who visited these locations within the time frames listed is advised to contact their health care provider to confirm their immunization status.

Exposures to this individual may have occurred at the following locations:

  • Logan Airport Terminal B on 8/15 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
  • Lexington High School Library on 8/16 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Irving H. Mabee Town Pool Complex on 8/19 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Lahey Outpatient Center in Lexington on 8/20 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Emergency Department & Inpatient Units 7 Central, 6 Central and 5 Central (ICU and CCU) at LHMC in Burlington on 8/20 from 1:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Early symptoms of measles occur 10 days to 2 weeks after exposure and may resemble a cold (with fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes) and a rash occurs on the skin 2-4 days after the initial symptoms develop. The rash usually appears first on the head and then moves downward. The rash typically lasts a few days and then disappears in the same order.

People with measles may be contagious up to four days before the rash appears and for four days after the day the rash appears.

People who have had measles in the past or who have been vaccinated against measles per CDC recommendations are considered immune. The CDC recommendations are:

For more information, contact your local health department or DPH at 617-983-6800.

Additional information is available on the DPH website here.

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  • Children. Children should receive their first dose of Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12-15 months.  School-aged children need two doses of MMR vaccine.
  • Adults. Adults should have at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Certain groups at high risk need two doses of MMR, such as international travelers, health care workers, and college students. Adults born in the U.S. before 1957 are considered to be immune to measles from past exposures.