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Warning: Measles outbreak possible in Northern Virginia

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Health officials have issued a warning of a possible measles outbreak in the Northern Virginia area.

The Northern Virginia Health Departments are working to identify people who were at the following locations during the following time frames:

  • Dulles International Airport in Terminal A and Baggage Claim level: Sunday, June 2, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical Center in the emergency department: Sunday, June 2 at 11 p.m. through early Monday, June 3 at 4:30 a.m.
  • Inova Fair Oaks Hospital in the emergency department, including the waiting area: Tuesday, June 4 from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

Measles is a highly contagious illness that is spread through coughing, sneezing, and contact with droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of an infected individual.

Measles symptoms usually appear in two stages. In the first stage, most people have a fever of greater than 101 degrees, runny nose, watery red eyes, and a cough.

The second stage begins around the third to seventh day when a rash begins to appear on the face and spreads over the entire body.

Health officials say symptoms may develop as late as June 25, 2019.

If you have received two doses of the measles-containing vaccine (either the measles, mumps and rubella [MMR] vaccine or a measles-only vaccine, which is available in other countries) you are protected and do not need to take any action.

If you have received only one dose of the measles-containing vaccine, you are very likely to be protected and your risk of being infected with measles from any of these exposures is very low. However, to achieve complete immunity, health officials recommend contacting your health care provider about getting a second vaccine dose.

The Northern Virginia Health Department says measles is easily preventable through a safe and effective MMR vaccine, and the best protection against future measles cases is the vaccination of all susceptible persons.

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RELATED: Third measles case reported in Maryland; 3 possible exposure sites in Pikesville

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