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Measles (Rubeolla) Diagnosed in Montgomery County

Guest Patrick_*

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Guest Patrick_*

A fourth case of measles (rubeola) has been diagnosed in Montgomery County since February 16, 2009. The outbreak is believed to have begun with an unvaccinated adult who returned from foreign travel. Since then two adults and an eight-month-old infant have been diagnosed with measles.


All individuals known to have been exposed are being or have been notified and given either a vaccination or a blood test to determine if they are immune to the measles. People who have had measles, have received two doses of MMR vaccine or were born before 1957 in the United States are not considered at risk for contracting measles. However, anyone who was in the Shady Grove Hospital Emergency Department or the Short Stay Unit during the following times, and has not yet been contacted should immediately call 301-826-6000 to assess his or her risk of contracting measles.


April 5, from 8 p.m. to April 6, 2 a.m.


April 6, from 4 p.m. to April 7, 5 a.m.


April 7, from 3 a.m. to April 7, 10 p.m. (in the short stay unit of SGAH)


Only if you believe that you are in this category, please contact the number above to speak to a triage nurse. If you are determined to be appropriate for treatment, you will be scheduled for a vaccine appointment. It is important to remember: Do NOT walk into the Emergency Department or physicians’ office, without calling first. It is advisable to stay away from others until your risk has been assessed. If you are not in this category and were not at Shady Grove Hospital Emergency Department during the critical dates, you are not considered to be at risk at this time.


People going to primary health care providers or to a hospital emergency department with a rash that starts on the face and neck, and then spreads, high fever, runny nose, red/watery eyes or cough should call ahead to the doctor’s office or hospital emergency department for instructions prior to coming in for evaluation. The measles virus is highly contagious. It is spread through the air when someone with measles coughs or sneezes (and by direct contact with infected nose or throat secretions).


Measles has been eliminated in the United States for all practical purposes because of widespread use of the measles vaccine (MMR). However, sporadic cases can arise when unvaccinated people visit foreign countries where measles circulates in the population. Proof of vaccination has been required for school attendance since 1957 and for citizenship applicants so that most people have either been vaccinated or are from a generation where most people were exposed to measles as children. Measles vaccinations (MMR) are recommended for all children with the first dose given at about one year of age and a second dose between ages four and six--before the child enters kindergarten. The second dose is important to insure protection from measles.

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