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Loudoun County Health Department Informing Travelers of Possible Measles Exposure at Dulles International Airport on June 7, 2013

Virginia Department of Health (Leesburg, Va.) Out of an abundance of caution, Loudoun County Health Department is informing people who were at Dulles International Airport on Friday, June 7, 2013 from 6 – 9 p.m. in Concourse A or B, in the International Arrivals Building or in the Baggage Claim level of the Main Terminal that they may have been exposed to a person with measles. People at risk for exposure on the plane have been identified and are being contacted by their state and/or local health officials.

Measles is a highly contagious illness that is spread through coughing, sneezing, and contact with secretions from the nose, mouth, and throat of an infected individual. Measles symptoms usually appear in two stages. In the first stage, most people have a fever of greater than 101 degrees, runny nose, watery red eyes and a cough. The second stage begins around the third to seventh day when a rash begins to appear on the face and spreads over the entire body.

What should you do if you were at Dulles International Airport, in Concourse A or B, in the International Arrivals Building or in the Baggage Claim level of the Main Terminal, from 6 – 9 p.m., on Friday, June 7, 2013?

  • If you notice the symptoms of measles, please call your primary health care provider to discuss further care. Call ahead and tell your primary health care provider’s office that you were exposed to measles, prior to going to the office or the ER.

Based on the date of exposure, we have determined that if you were infected with measles, you may develop symptoms as late as Friday, June 28, 2013.

Measles is easily preventable through safe and effective MMR vaccine. The best protection against future measles cases is the on-time vaccination of all susceptible persons. Two doses are recommended for most individuals with the first dose given at age 12-15 months and the second prior to kindergarten entry (age 4-6 years).

With the busy summer vacation season just beginning, it is important to consider health when planning trips. While few measles cases are reported in the U.S., the disease is common in many parts of the world, including popular tourist destinations. All persons who will be traveling internationally should be evaluated for measles immunity and vaccinated as needed.

For more on measles, go to http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/Epidemiology/factsheets/pdf/Measles.pdf. For additional questions, please call the Loudoun County Health Department at 571-233-7317.

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