Virginia Department of Health - Press Releases
- April 24, 2009 - Virginia Health Commissioner Emphasizes Importance Of Vaccinations
- April 21, 2009 - VDH Confirms Measles Case In Northern Virginia
- April 20, 2009 - Metro Area Health Officials Investigating Potential Measles Exposures Across Region
Prince William County, Virginia - Measles Exposure
- Prince William Measles Investigation Web page.
- Map of potential exposure site at Potomac Mills - PDF file.
If you think you may have the measles, you should not show up at a hospital Emergency Room or doctor’s office without calling first so they can prepare the proper infection control measures before your arrival. You should also limit your exposure to others.
Measles is a highly contagious illness that is spread through coughing, sneezing, and contact with secretions from the nose, mouth, and throat of an infected individual. The measles virus can live in the air for several hours after a person coughs or sneezes.
Initial symptoms of measles include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes, which can last about a week.
While most people with measles will recover, 20% of cases experience one or more complications, especially children under 5 years of age and adults over 20 years.
These complications can range from diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain tissue), seizures, and even death. Measles can also make a pregnant woman have a miscarriage, give birth prematurely, or have a low-birth-weight baby.
Fortunately, measles vaccine can safely and effectively prevent this disease.
Measles has been practically eliminated in the United States because of the widespread use of the measles vaccine.
Unfortunately, sporadic cases can happen when unvaccinated people visit other countries where measles still exists in the population.
The recent cases of measles and the exposure of others across our region is an excellent reminder to make sure you and your loved ones are protected against measles. Have your health care provider review your immunizations and get vaccinated against the measles and other vaccine preventable diseases, as appropriate.