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April 20, 2009

For More Information Contact

  • Maribeth Brewster, Northern Region PIO, Virginia Department of Health (703) 934-0623
  • Mary Anderson, PIO, Montgomery County Health Department (240) 777-6534
  • Dena Iverson, Director of Communications, District of Columbia Department of Health (202) 724-7481
  • David Paulson, Director of Communications, Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (410) 767-3536

METRO AREA HEALTH OFFICIALS INVESTIGATING POTENTIAL MEASLES EXPOSURES ACROSS REGION: Northern Virginia Health Departments; Montgomery County, Md., Health Department; D.C. Health Department and Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene Are Working Together to Identify People Who Are At Risk.

(Washington, D.C.)--Metro Washington area health officials are mounting a coordinated campaign to identify people who may have been exposed to new measles activity in the region. Potential public exposure sites are in Arlington County, Va.; Montgomery County, Md.; and the District of Columbia.

Special call-in numbers have been established by the three jurisdictions.

  • Calls related to Arlington County exposure sites: (800) 533-4148
  • Calls related to Montgomery County exposure sites: (240) 777-4200
  • Calls related to D.C. exposure sites: 311 for D.C. residents; (202) 737-4404 outside D.C.

Although most people are immune to measles because of longstanding vaccination requirements, a number of people in the region are not, especially children under 12 months of age. Because diseases do not respect borders and people in the Washington metro area often travel through several jurisdictions multiple times a day, a single case of measles in the area has the potential to become a regionwide concern.

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 percent of cases experience one or more complications, especially children under 5 years of age and adults over 20 years. Those who suspect they have measles should stay home to prevent the spread of the disease and call their health care provider.

If you think you may have the measles, you should not show up at the hospital emergency room or doctors’ offices without calling first so health care workers can prepare the proper infection control measures before your arrival. You should limit your exposure to others.

As with preventing the spread of any contagious infection, you should also wash your hands frequently and thoroughly and always cover your cough.

Fortunately, measles vaccine can safely and effectively prevent this disease. And while most people are immune because of national, state and local vaccination requirements, sporadic cases can happen when unvaccinated people visit other countries where measles still exists in the population.

These recent cases of measles and the exposure of others in the region indicates why it’s important to make sure you and your family 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. Measles vaccine is available through your primary care physician and your local health department.

Listed below are the dates, times and locations of the potential exposure sites associated with the most recent case of measles:

Maryland Exposure Sites

SATURDAY, APRIL 4, 2009:

Bethesda, MD:
Used Book Fair – Stone Ridge School
9101 Rockville Pike
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Rockville, MD:
Vegetable Garden Restaurant
11618 Rockville Pike
12 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Jiffy Lube
5535 Nicholson Lane
1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

  • People who were at any of these locations on these dates and during the specified time may have been exposed to measles.
    Please call the Montgomery County Health Department: (240) 777-4200
  • People who were at these locations on any other date or at any other time do not need to call.

 

Virginia Exposure Sites

SUNDAY, APRIL 5

Arlington:
Saigon Saigon Restaurant (Pentagon Row)
1101 S. Joyce Street
• 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Harris Teeter (Pentagon Row)
900 Army Navy Drive
9 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

  • People who were at any of these locations on these dates and during the specified time may have been exposed to measles.
    Please call the Virginia Disease Prevention Hotline: (800) 533-4148
  • People who were at these locations on any other date or at any other time do not need to call.

 

Washington, DC Exposure Sites

SATURDAY, APRIL 4

Pot Belly Restaurant (Near Federal Center Metro)
409 3rd Street, SW
3:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8

Safeway Grocery Store
401 M Street, SW
4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

FRIDAY, APRIL 10

Safeway Grocery Store
401 M Street, SW
3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

  • People who were at any of these locations on these dates and during the specified time may have been exposed to measles.
    Please call 3-1-1 in the District or D.C. Department of Health:
    DC Residents: 311
    Non-D.C. residents: (202) 737-4404
  • People who were at these locations on any other date or at any other time do not need to call.

 


Last Updated: 09-04-2009

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