One case of measles has been reported, Montgomery County and Maryland health officials confirmed Friday evening. Health officials urge individuals who may have been exposed to monitor for possible symptoms.
Anyone who visited the Cabin John Ice Rink, located at 10610 Westlake Drive in Bethesda on from 6 to 9 p.m. May 24, and a professional office building located at 16220 Frederick Road in Gaithersburg between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on May 30, may have been exposed to measles, a news release said.
This is the first reported measles case in the state since 2019, according to health officials.
Measles is a highly contagious and serious disease caused by a virus and can lead to severe complications and death, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Those who are not vaccinated against measles have a higher risk of being infected.
People who were at either of the locations during the possible exposure times, especially those who are not vaccinated against measles, should monitor themselves for early symptoms, health officials said.
Symptoms usually develop 10 to 14 days after exposure but can develop after seven days or 21 days after exposure.
Early symptoms include a fever of more than 101 degrees Fahrenheit; runny nose; cough; and red, watery eyes. Typically, one to four days after early symptoms develop, a red rash appears on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.
A person infected with measles is contagious beginning four days before the rash appears until four days after the rash begins.
Health officials said, people are considered to be immune to measles if they were born in the United States before 1957, have had two measles vaccine shots or previously had measles.
Measles is spread by close or direct contact to coughing, sneezing and secretions from the mouth of an infected person. The virus can remain suspended in the air for up to two hours with one carrier able to infect nine out of 10 unvaccinated close contacts, according to the WHO.
Young children who are not vaccinated against measles and people who are pregnant are at highest risk of severe measles complications, according to the WHO. Infants less than one year old and those who are immune compromised are also at risk.
Health officials recommend anyone who is concerned they may have been exposed to measles or might have a measles infection to contact their healthcare provider for instructions prior to going for an evaluation. Treatment with a medicine called immune globulin can help prevent measles if given within six days of exposure, according to county health officials.
Anyone who has been potentially exposed can call Montgomery County Health and Human Services’ Disease Control Office at 240-777-1755 to determine their risk of contracting measles.