Measles Exposure At New England Aquarium, 5/19 & 5/22

BOSTON — The Boston Public Health Commission today reported that a volunteer at the New England Aquarium has been diagnosed with measles. The 17 year-old Vermont resident volunteered while contagious on May 19 and May 22, 2011. The Commission’s Infectious Disease Bureau advises that anyone who was at the Aquarium’s main building after 12 noon on May 19 or May 22 may have been exposed to measles.

Measles is an airborne virus that is spread person to person through the air. People are considered immune to measles if they have had two doses of measles-containing vaccine (MMR) or have had a blood test showing that they are immune to measles. People born in the United States before 1957 are likely to be immune to measles. If people do not know their immune status, they should try to locate immunization records and monitor themselves for symptoms. If individuals were at the Aquarium’s main building on May 19 or May 22 and they do not know if they are immune to measles, they are advised to refrain from public activity until 21 days after the exposure.

Symptoms usually begin 10 to 12 days after exposure to a person with measles, but can be delayed for as long as 18 days. Early symptoms include a high fever, runny nose, cough, and red, watery eyes. A skin rash usually occurs two to four days later and begins on the face but soon spreads to other parts of the body. If a person thinks they have symptoms of measles, they should telephone their health care provider.

This program aired on June 4, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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Carey Goldberg Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.



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