Boston officials warn of possible measles exposure at two locations visited by a measles positive person. Measles is so contagious that 90 percent of people who are not immune to it and get in contact with a measles positive individual will get infected.
Public Health Warning
On July 27, the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) sent out a public warning concerning a potential measles exposure after receiving information on a confirmed measles case. Evidently, the patient visited the Tasty Burger at Boylston Street on July 19 between 7 and 11 in the evening, and passed through the Logan Airport on July 20 between 8:30 in the morning and 2:30 in the afternoon.
According to the public health warning, people who passed through the said locations around those particular times may have been exposed to the virus, and could become ill between July 26 and until Aug. 10. It’s worth noting that even if a person did not have direct contact with the ill person, the virus can stay in the environment for up to two hours after the ill person has left.
Symptoms to take note of are runny nose, high fever, cough, and red eyes, followed by red skin rashes around three to five days later. The BPHC notes that anyone who suspects they have measles should immediately contact their health care providers via telephone, and to await for further instructions.
Measles In the United States
Measles remains to be a common illness in many parts of the world including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. Worldwide, many people still contract measles, with almost 90,000 people dying from the disease each year, most of whom are children.
In the United States, measles was actually eradicated by the year 2000 thanks to a successful vaccination program. However, measles still reaches the United States via unvaccinated Americans who get the virus from other countries and bring it back to the country, or by travelers who pass the illness on to other unvaccinated Americans. That said, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that even if a person does not travel internationally, an unvaccinated person may still get the virus from other people in the community.
It is for this reason that vaccination remains a top priority when it comes to preventing the spread of measles in the country, the best protection being the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine which is often given to children between 12 and 15 months of age. Adults can also opt to get the vaccine if they have not been vaccinated as children, or before traveling internationally.