WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Virginia Department of Health confirms second case of measles

Officials from the Virginia Department of Health recently expanded their investigation into potential measles exposure in the National Capital Region.

The expansion comes following the confirmation of a second case of measles in the area. The second case of measles was contracted by a person in close contact to the first case, which was discovered in late April in Loudoun and Fairfax counties.

Officials are working to identify people who may have been exposed to the individual in the second case.

The exposures occurred between May 11 and May 15 in Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington Counties in Virginia; Mongomery County, Maryland; and Washington D.C. Officials have released a list of specific locations and times at which the measles virus may have been exposed.

Individuals who have never received the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine may be at risk of contracting the disease and are urged to isolate themselves and contact their primary health care provider should they display any symptoms. Those who feel they may have been exposed should call ahead before going to the doctor's office or emergency room, to inform them that they may have been exposed to measles.

Symptoms usually appear in two stages. The first stage consists of a fever of more than 101 degrees, runny nose, watery red eyes and a cough. The second stage occurs on the third to seventh day, with a rash appearing on the face and spreading over the body.

Based on the dates of exposure, those infected may begin to develop symptoms as late as June 5, 2014.

Measles is easily preventable through a safe and effective MMR immunization. Those who have received the MMR vaccine in the past are at very low risk of being infected with measles.