Boston, MA– On Friday March 1, the Boston Public Health Commission issued a statement warning of a confirmed case of measles in a person who traveled on public transportation from New York City to Boston, and then on to New Hampshire on February 26, 2019.
Measles is an airborne disease and can remain in the air up to two hours after a person with the illness has left the vicinity. If you were in one of the following areas within the below timeframes on February 26, you may have been exposed to the virus.
4:00 PM – 8:30 PM Greyhound Bus (#2520) from New York City to Boston
8:30 PM – 12:00 AM South Station Bus Terminal, Boston
10:00 PM – 11:30 PM Boston Express Bus (#5178) from Boston Logan Airport to Manchester, New Hampshire (with stops in Tyngsboro, MA and Nashua, NH)
Symptoms may develop within 21 days after exposure (between March 3 and March 19, 2019). Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, high fever, runny nose, red eyes, and tiny white spots inside the mouth. A few days into the illness, a red rash may develop, typically starting out as flat red spots on the face.
If you notice any of these symptoms and may have been exposed to the virus, call your health provider. Keep in mind, if you have been vaccinated for measles in the past, or if you’ve had measles before, you are very unlikely to contract the disease even if you were in close proximity to someone with measles.
Babies under 12 months cannot be vaccinated and extra care should be taken to ensure that they are not exposed. MassGeneral says that children should receive two measles vaccination doses: the first between 12 and 15 months, and the second dose when the child is between four and six years old. Most children who contract measles will recover without any lasting complications, though in rare cases it can be fatal due to an infection of the brain (encephalitis).
Jen Leaf Jeager, Director of the Infectious Disease Bureau, was quoted in the BPHC statement: "Measles is a serious disease, particularly in children who have not been vaccinated. If you don't know your immunity status and think you have been exposed, contact your healthcare provider immediately.”
Last November there were two confirmed cases of the measles in Lowell, MA. The cases were not determined to have any connection.