The Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed a second case of the measles in Lowell, officials announced Saturday.
The person, who was diagnosed Thursday, had been in several locations and could have exposed other people to the illness, according to a statement from the Department of Public Health.
An earlier case of the infection was confirmed on Nov. 8. Both diagnoses were made at the Lowell Community Health Center, the statement said.
"There are no known links between the two cases," according to state epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown.
The state's efforts are now directed at identifying "people who may be at risk of getting ill and to get them vaccinated," she said.
The department has urged people who do not know their immunization status to get vaccinated with at least one dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Anyone who visited the following locations at the listed dates and times are also urged to contact their health care provider to confirm their immunization status:
- T.J. Maxx, 288 Chelmsford St., Chelmsford, 3–7 p.m., Nov. 11
- Lowell Community Health Center, 161 Jackson St., Lowell, 4-9 p.m., Nov. 15
- Walmart Supercenter, 333 Main St., Tewksbury, 5-8 p.m., Nov. 15
Measles spreads easily person to person and usually lasts a week or two. At first, symptoms include a cough, high fever, runny nose and red, watery eyes. Later on, people may experience a red, blotchy facial rash that can spread to the rest of the body.
The measles virus lives in the nose and throat and is sprayed into the air when an infected person sneezes, coughs or talks, and can stay in the air for up to two hours.