The Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed that a person was diagnosed with measles in greater Boston on Sunday and that the individual had visited multiple restaurants and stores throughout Eastern Massachusetts during the infectious period, potentially exposing the public to the disease. 

“The measles virus is currently causing large national and international outbreaks of measles and a lack of vaccination, combined with domestic and international travel, has resulted in the spread of illness,” Massachusetts State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown said in a statement posted on the Public Health Department’s official website. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from this disease.” 

The Health Department said that Measles is extremely contagious, and that those who have not been immunized to the disease may be at risk of developing symptoms. They are advised to contact their health care providers immediately so they can get vaccinated with at least one dose of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. 

DPH officials said that the vaccine may prevent the disease, and that vaccination beyond this window will provide protection from subsequent exposures if administered within 72 hours of exposure. DPH, local health departments and healthcare providers are working to contact individuals at high risk for exposure. 

 

The Department of Public Health established a timeline for those who may have come in contact with the confirmed case: On Tuesday, March 26, the individual was at KKatie's Burger Bar between 1:40 p.m. and 4:40 p.m. in Plymouth. They visited the Starbucks at 12 Market Pl Drive in Waltham on Wednesday, March 27 between 8:40 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., and Framingham Service Plaza on I-90 Westbound between 2:05 p.m. and 4:20 p.m. in Framingham. On Thursday, March 28, the individual visited Staples 800 Lexington St Waltham between 8:50 a.m. and 11:10 a.m., the Dunkin’ at the Wal-Lex Shopping Center at 876A Lexington St between 9:10 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., the Whole Foods at 990 Lyannough Road, Hyannis, between 11:55 a.m. and 2:05 p.m., and the Target at 250 Granite St., Braintree between 2:00 p.m. and 4:05 p.m.

The DPH said that anyone who develops symptoms of measles should call their healthcare provider before visiting an office, clinic, or emergency department. Early symptoms of measles occur ten days to two weeks after exposure and may resemble a cold, with fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes, plus a rash which occurs two to four days after the initial symptoms develop. The rash usually appears first on the head and then moves downward, which lasts a few days and then disappears in the same order. People with measles may be contagious up to four days before the rash appears and for four days after the day the rash appears. 

The CDC strongly recommends that children receive their first dose of Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12-15 months and that school-aged children need two doses of MMR vaccine. Adults should have at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Certain groups at high risk need two doses of MMR, such as international travelers, health care workers, and college students. Adults born in the U.S. before 1957 are considered immune to measles from past exposures.

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