Health officials are reaching out to residents after an unvaccinated child in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, tested positive for measles.
Investigators with the Montgomery County Office of Public Health are currently completing contact tracing with the locations the child visited as well as the child’s guardian. They are also notifying anyone who may have been in contact with the child and potentially exposed.
Pennsylvania locations the child visited
Officials said the child visited the following locations during their infectious period and people who were at those locations during the specific time periods may have been exposed to the measles virus:
July 20, 2023 from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Bryn Mawr Hospital Emergency Room
130 S. Bryn Mawr Ave., Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
July 20, 2023 from 5:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
740 Upper State Road, North Wales, PA 19454
July 21, 2023 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Emergency Department
3401 Civic Center Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19104
July 22, 2023 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
1515 Bethlehem Pike, Hatfield, PA 19440
July 23, 2023 from 9:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Middleman Family Pavilion Emergency Department
550 S. Goddard Blvd., King of Prussia, PA 19406
How long is the measles virus infectious?
The measles virus can remain infections in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours after an infected person leaves an area.
What should you do if you believe you were exposed to the measles virus?
Here are tips from the Montgomery County Office of Public Health:
- Review your immunization and medical records to determine if you’re protected against measles.
- People who have not had the measles infection previously or who have not received the measles immunization may not be protected from the measles virus and should talk with a healthcare provider about receiving the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) immunization.
- Contact and notify your healthcare provider as soon as possible about a potential exposure if you’re pregnant, have a child under the age of 1, have a weakened immune system and/or are not vaccinated.
- Monitor yourself for illness and fever and/or an unexplained rash from seven days to 21 days after the exposure or time period when symptoms may develop.
- If symptoms develop, stay at home and call a healthcare provider immediately.
Can vaccinated people test positive for measles?
For those who are properly immunized against measles, the risk of getting the disease is minimal, health officials say.
How contagious is measles?
Measles is an extremely contagious virus that lives in the mucus membranes of the nose and throat of infected people. The virus can be transmitted from person to person through coughing and sneezing.
How can you become infected by measles?
A healthy person can become infected with measles if they breathe the contaminated air or touch an infected surface then touch their eyes, nose or mouth.
When an infected person sneezes or coughs, droplets spray into the air. Those droplets can contain an active and contagious virus that will last in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours.
What are the symptoms of measles?
- Measles normally begin with a fever of 100.4F or higher that lasts for several days. That’s followed by a cough, runny nose or watery eyes.
- Two to three days after the symptoms begin, tiny white spots appear in the mouth.
- Three to five days after symptoms begin, a flat red spotted rash will first appear on the face at the hairline before spreading downwards to the neck, trunk, arms, legs and feet.
- The flat red spots may also be joined by small raised bumps. The symptoms appear about seven to 14 days on average after exposure but can be as long as 21 days.
Who is most at risk of testing positive for measles?
- Babies who are too young to have been vaccinated (less than 1 year of age)
- Children who are only partially vaccinated (less than 6 years of age)
- People who were vaccinated with an unknown type of vaccine used between 1963 and 1967 who haven’t been revaccinated
- People born after 1957 who have only received one dose of vaccine
- People who have refused vaccination
- People from parts of the world where there is low vaccine coverage or where measles is currently circulating
- Immune-compromised individuals, including organ transplant recipients, patients receiving chemotherapy and people living with HIV/AIDS
Who is considered immune to measles?
- People who were born in 1957 or earlier
- People who have had two doses of Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine
- People who have had measles
What should you do if you think you have measles?
If you believe you have been exposed to measles or are showing symptoms, contact your healthcare provider. Healthcare providers should report any suspected cases of measles to MCOPH at 610-278-5117 or after hours at 610-635-4300.
Where can I get vaccinated against the measles?
You can receive the MMR vaccine at your local healthcare provider or pharmacy. Call the Montgomery County Office of Public Health at 610-278-5117 for testing recommendations, advice or any questions related to the virus.