Public health officials are warning some to take precautions after a European tourist was diagnosed with the first case of measles recorded in the state this year.
“Early symptoms of measles occur 10 days to 2 weeks after exposure and may resemble a cold with fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes, but a rash occurs on the skin 2-4 days after the initial symptoms develop,” according to the advisory from the Massachusetts Health and Human Services Department read. “The rash usually appears first on the head and moves downward. The rash typically lasts a few days and then disappears in the same order. People with measles may be contagious up to four days before and for four days after the day the rash appears.”
Those who have had measles or were properly vaccinated against the disease are considered immune, the advisory adds.
The patient was documented to be in the following areas while still contagious, according to health officials. The times have been extended by two hours to reflect that measles can remain in the air for that time, even if the infected person leaves the area.
Sunday, May 1, 2016:
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: MBTA #1 Bus – Newbury St., Boston to Harvard Square. Shopped at J. August at 1320 Mass Ave.
From 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.: The Cambridgeside Galleria, the mall Panda Express, Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, PacSun and Starbucks. She then took the Green Line back to Boston.
Monday, May 2, 2016:
From 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.: The Wrentham Village outlet, eating at the Uno’s restaurant and shopping at Nike, Gap, Polo Ralph Lauren and other stores there.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016:
From 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Rockport Village, shopping at the Pewter Shop, Sea Star Gift Shop and Brothers’ Brew Coffee Shop.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016:
From 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Star Market at the Prudential, and Nespresso Boutque Bar on Newbury Street.
Thursday, May 5 through Sunday, May 8, 2016:
All day: Massachusetts General Hospital. Patients there who may have been exposed will be notified by the hospital or health department, according to the advisory.
Those at risk of exposure should confirm that they have two doses of the MMR vaccine or have some kind of other evidence of immunity to measles.
Those without immunity should get an MMR vaccine as soon as possible, the advisory stated.
“People who have been exposed to measles who develop fever, cold symptoms and rash should call their healthcare provider immediately, before going in for a medical appointment, to make sure they can be evaluated without exposing others,” the department’s commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel said in a statement.
“Fortunately in Massachusetts we have very high rates of MMR vaccination, especially among school-age youth. If you have been exposed to measles, be on the alert for 21 days after exposure, to watch for symptoms of respiratory illness with fever, followed by a rash.”
Those concerned about possible exposure can contact health officials at (617) 534-5611 if you live, work or attend school in Boston; those outside that range can contact (617) 983-6800.