BOSTON (WPRI) — Health officials in Massachusetts are issuing a statewide warning after learning some residents may have been exposed to measles.
According to the Mass. Department of Public Health (DPH), a person was diagnosed with the contagious virus on Sunday in the greater Boston area.
Health officials said during the infectious period, that person went to various locations spanning several communities where others could have been exposed.
“The measles virus is currently causing large national and international outbreaks of measles and a lack of vaccination, combined with domestic and international travel, has resulted in the spread of illness,” Dr. Catherine Brown, a Massachusetts state epidemiologist said.
The Massachusetts DPH listed several dates, times and locations of when the potential exposure could’ve occurred:
- 3/26: 1:40-4:40 p.m. at KKatie’s Burger Bar, 38 Main St. Extension, Plymouth
- 3/27: 8:40-10:45 a.m. at Starbucks, 12 Market Place Drive, Waltham
- 2:05-4:20 p.m. at Framingham Service Plaza on I-90 Westbound, Framingham
- 3/28: 8:50-11:10 a.m. at Staples, 800 Lexington St., Waltham
- 9:10-11:15 a.m. at Dunkin’ in the Wal-Lex Shopping Center on Lexington Street, Waltham
- 11:55 a.m.-2:05 p.m. at Whole Foods, 990 Iyannough Road, Hyannis
- 2-4:05 p.m. at Target, 250 Granite St., Braintree
Health officials urge anyone who believes they may have been exposed to the measles to contact their healthcare provider before visiting an office, clinic or emergency department.
Measles is a highly contagious virus that is usually spread through coughing and sneezing. Early symptoms of measles occur 10 days to two weeks after exposure and may resemble a cold, plus a rash will occur within 2-4 days following the initial symptoms.
Health officials say the only way to protect yourself from the disease is to ensure you’re up to date on the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. Those who have not been immunized or don’t know their measles immunization status should ensure they receive at least one dose of the MMR vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provided these recommendations:
- Children should receive their first dose of MMR vaccine at 12-15 months. School-aged children need two doses of MMR vaccine.
- Adults should have at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Certain groups at high risk need two doses of MMR, such as international travelers, health care workers, and college students. Adults born in the U.S. before 1957 are considered immune to measles from past exposures.
For more information on the disease, the state created a fact sheet available online.