Measles

Massachusetts state health authorities confirmed a case of measles which was diagnosed at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center (LHMC) in Burlington this week. The individual, during their infectious period, was in a number of locations that could have resulted in exposures to other people (see below).

Facility Location Dates and times
Logan Airport Terminal B Boston 8/15, 8:30am – 10:30am
Lexington High School Library 251 Waltham St., Lexington 8/16, 3:30pm – 5:30pm
Irving H. Mabee Town Pool Complex 80 Worthen Rd., Lexington 8/19, 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Lahey Outpatient Center, Lexington 16 Hayden Ave., Lexington 8/20, 11:30am – 3:00pm
LHMC, Burlington Emergency Department 8/20, 1pm – 10:30pm
LHMC, Burlington Inpatient Units 7 Central, 6 Central, and 5 Central (ICU and CCU) 8/20 from 8:00pm to 8/21 at 9:00pm

Anyone who visited these locations on any of these dates during the times listed is advised to contact their health care provider to confirm their immunization status.

Massachusetts/National Atlas
Massachusetts/National Atlas

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) urges all those who do not know their measles immunization status to get vaccinated with at least one dose of Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine.  Measles vaccine given within 72 hours of exposure may prevent measles disease, and vaccination beyond this window will provide protection from subsequent exposures. Lahey hospital has been reaching out to individuals at high risk of exposure, and is collaborating with DPH and local health authorities to ensure that all exposed individuals have this information.

Those who were exposed and begin to develop symptoms of measles should call their healthcare provider before visiting an office, clinic or emergency department. Visiting a healthcare facility may put others at risk and should be avoided. Anyone who has had measles in the past or has received two doses of the vaccine is unlikely to develop measles even if exposed.

“Fortunately, most people have been vaccinated against measles,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “Our efforts now are to identify people who may be at risk of getting ill and to get them vaccinated.  If they become ill we ask them to telephone their providers rather than going directly to a healthcare facility.”

West Nile virus

In addition, health officials have reported the first three human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) in the state this year.

DPH reports one is a woman in her 70s from Worcester County who was hospitalized but has since been discharged. The second is a woman in her 60s from Middlesex County who was not hospitalized during her illness. The third is a woman in her 50s from Suffolk County who was hospitalized but has been discharged. A horse, stabled in Hampshire County, also was infected, became severely ill and had to be euthanized.

“There has been an increase in WNV-infected mosquitoes identified this year throughout the state, an indication that the risk is widespread and ongoing,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “That means that this year, it is extremely important for people to take steps to avoid mosquito bites including using repellents, wearing clothing to reduce exposed skin, dumping standing water, and moving indoors when you notice mosquitoes biting you.”

“August and September are the months when we typically see more human cases because it is the beginning of the peak season for possible West Nile virus human infections,” said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “These new human cases illustrate why we informed people about the increased risk for human infections earlier this week.”

In 2017, there were 6 human cases of WNV infection identified in Massachusetts.

Outbreak News