Measles Update – June 2019

June 13, 2019

The Virginia Department of Health has released a health advisory about a recent measles case in Northern Virginia. There have been no cases at George Mason University.  However, there are ongoing multi-state outbreaks of measles nationwide. Student Health Services is sharing this important health information for your protection and to protect the health of our community.

According to the ongoing investigation by the Virginia Department of Health, there were three specific locations where potential measles exposure occurred:

  • Dulles international airport in Terminal A and Baggage claim level on Sunday, June 2, from 5:30-8:30pm
  • Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical Center, 15225 Healthcote Boulevard, Haymarket, VA, in the emergency department on Sunday, June 2 at 11pm through early Monday, June 3, 4:30am
  • Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, 3600 Joseph Siewick Drive, Fairfax, VA in the emergency department, including the waiting area, on Tuesday, June 4 from 3-5:30pm

For additional information about the ongoing investigation, read the Virginia Department of Health news release: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/news/2019-regional-news-releases/virginia-health-officials-investigating-potential-measles-exposure-in-northern-virginia/

What should I do?

Measles vaccine is required of all George Mason University students. It is a safe, effective vaccine to prevent measles.

Students who have submitted their immunization record to Mason can log in and view their immunization status on the online patient portal. You can also contact your healthcare provider or review your personal immunization records to check if you have been vaccinated.

If you have received two doses of a measles containing vaccine – either the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) or a measles only vaccine which is available in other countries – you are protected and do not need to take any action.

If you have received only one dose of measles containing vaccine, you are very likely to be protected and your risk of being infected with measles is very low. However, to have complete immunity, contact your health care provider to get a second vaccine dose. Student Health Services offers the MMR vaccine to students for a fee. Students with the student health insurance plan have the vaccine covered at 100%. Call 703-993-2135 to schedule an appointment.

If you have not received the measles containing vaccine, you can contact your healthcare provider, or schedule an appointment at Student Health (703-993-2135) to be vaccinated.

If you were born in the United States before January 1, 1957, or have a blood test (titer) showing immunity, you are considered immune to the measles.

If you have any concerning symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider, or call Student Health (703-993-2831) and speak to a triage nurse.

Measles is a highly contagious illness spread through coughing, sneezing and contact with droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of an infected individual. 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.

For more information about measles visit the Centers for Disease Control website: https://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html.

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