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Health Officials Investigating Confirmed Measles Case

Posted at 5:35 p.m.

The Fairfax County Health Department and the District of Columbia Department of Health are investigating a confirmed case of measles in an adult with recent history of international travel.

The individual has been discharged from Inova Fairfax Medical Campus and is no longer contagious. Prior to diagnosis, the individual visited multiple locations in both Washington, D.C. and Fairfax County.

Public health workers are engaged in a coordinated effort to identify those who were in direct contact with the person with measles and are making the appropriate notifications. Out of an abundance of caution, the health departments are also informing people who may have been exposed during the time period prior to the diagnosis when the person was contagious, between May 10 and May 16, 2015.

People who were at the locations listed below, at the times indicated, may have been exposed to the measles virus and should call the health department in that jurisdiction to determine their risk for measles.

In Fairfax County, a call center has been established to address concerns and answer questions about measles. Anyone concerned about exposures in Fairfax County are encouraged to call 703-267-3511 between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. today and between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, May 20 and May 21.

For concerns about exposures in Washington, D.C., people should contact the District of Columbia Department of Health at 202-420-0199.

Preventative treatment may be recommended for those who were exposed and are unvaccinated and at high risk (including pregnant women, infants under the age of 12 months, and people with severely compromised immune systems). Please call the health department in your jurisdiction as soon as possible to be assessed for exposure risk.

Measles is a highly contagious illness caused by a virus that is spread through coughing, sneezing and contact with secretions from the nose, mouth and throat of an infected individual. While few measles cases are reported in the United States, the disease is common in many parts of the world.

Symptoms of measles usually appear within 7 to 21 days after exposure and can include fever greater than 101 degrees, runny nose, watery red eyes and cough, followed by a blotchy rash that appears on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. The disease is most severe in infants and adults.

People who have received at least one dose of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine in the past are at very low risk of being infected with measles. Measles is easily preventable through safe and effective MMR vaccine. All members of the community who have not been vaccinated are encouraged to do so to protect themselves and others.

Residents who were present at any of the locations listed above during the exposure times should review their family’s vaccination history and call their health care provider if they experience any symptoms of measles. Please call ahead before going to the doctor’s office or the emergency room and tell them that you may have been exposed to measles.

If you or a family member has not received the MMR vaccination and you were present at one of the locations listed below during the exposure time, then please call either the Fairfax County Health Department or the D.C. Department of Health at the phone numbers listed.

For more information on measles, visit the Fairfax County Health Department at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hd, the District of Columbia Department of Health at www.doh.dc.gov or Virginia Department of Health at www.vdh.state.va.us.

Locations in Washington, D.C.:

Location Exposure Time Health Department to Call for Questions/Concerns
Embassy Suites
900 10th St., NW
Washington, D.C.
Sunday, May 10 through
Friday, May 15, All hours
District of Columbia Department of Health
202-420-0199
IFC Building
2121 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, D.C.
Monday, May 11
7 a.m.-2 p.m.
District of Columbia Department of Health
202-420-0199

Locations in Fairfax County, Va.:

Location Exposure Time Health Department to Call
Inova Fairfax Medical Campus
Emergency Department
3300 Gallows Road
Falls Church, Va.
Tuesday, May 12
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Fairfax County HD
703-267-3511
Inova Fairfax Medical Campus
North Tower (Floors 6-11)
3300 Gallows Road
Falls Church, Va.
Friday, May 15 at 3:30 p.m. to Saturday,
May 16 at 3 p.m.
Fairfax County HD
703-267-3511
Inova Fairfax Medical Campus
North Tower (Lobby)
3300 Gallows Road
Falls Church, Va.
Friday, May 15, 3:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday, May 16, 7 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Fairfax County HD
703-267-3511
Inova Fairfax Medical Campus
Women’s and Children’s Bldg.
(Ground Level & Basement)
3300 Gallows Road
Falls Church, Va.
Friday, May 15, 3:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday, May 16, 7 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Fairfax County HD
703-267-3511
Woodburn Medical Park Building #2
3289 Woodburn Road
Annandale, Va.
Friday, May 15, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Fairfax County HD
703-267-3511
The Shelby Apartments,
6200 N. Kings Highway Alexandria, Va.
Sunday, May 10, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday, May 15, 3 p.m.-7 p.m.
Fairfax County HD
703-267-3511

Woman Taken Ill at Pentagon Does Not Have Ebola

Posted at 5:20 p.m.

At about 9:10 a.m. today, Pentagon Police officers identified a woman in the Pentagon South Parking Lot, around lanes 17-19, who was ill and vomiting. Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD) was notified and responded immediately with both emergency medical aid and HazMat response team.

During the response, the individual allegedly indicated that she had recently visited western Africa. Out of an abundance of caution, all pedestrian and vehicular traffic was suspended around the South Parking lot, while Arlington County responded to the scene.  At 9:53 a.m., the patient was taken to the Virginia Hospital Center; however she did not exit the ambulance. ACFD then transported the patient to Fairfax Inova Hospital.

Based on the public health investigation, which included the travel history of a woman who became ill this morning in a Pentagon parking lot, and on questioning of her by medical staff, medical authorities are confident that she does not have Ebola.

The woman had displayed symptoms consistent with the virus and her travel history was uncertain, so she was put in isolation at Fairfax Inova Hospital. Arlington and Fairfax County personnel took all necessary precautions to protect public health during this event.

National Capital Region Ebola Update

Posted at 3:25 p.m.

There are no cases of Ebola in the National Capital Region. However, measures are in place to effectively deal with an Ebola infected person if one were to arrive in the region. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the top health officials in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia have said the risk of Ebola spreading widely in the United States is low.

Enhanced Screening at Dulles International Airport to Begin on Thursday, Oct. 16

Travelers from the Ebola-affected countries entering the U.S. through Dulles International Airport and four other U.S. airports (New York’s JFK, Newark, Chicago-O’Hare and Atlanta international airports) will receive enhanced entry screening. Screening begins at Dulles tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 16. This screening means that travelers from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone will:

  • Receive information about Ebola, its symptoms, what to do if symptoms develop and information for doctors if travelers need medical attention.
  • Be asked to answer questions to determine their risk of infection, have their temperatures taken and be observed for other symptoms of Ebola.
  • If symptoms exist, be referred to CDC officials on site for further evaluation.

As a result of this process, CDC officials at the airport will determine whether a traveler:

  • Can continue to travel.
  • Should be taken to a hospital for evaluation, testing and treatment.
  • Is referred to a local health department for further monitoring and support.

This enhanced screening of those entering the U.S. from the affected countries in West Africa will support the surveillance and monitoring already in place throughout the region at hospital emergency rooms and other health facilities.

The Ebola virus is transmitted through close contact with an infected patient’s blood or bodily fluids.  For more detailed information about the disease, visit the CDC website, www.cdc.gov, and review the Frequently Asked Questions about Ebola on the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments website.

facts about ebola (CDC)

Potential Measles Exposures May 11-15

Posted at 11:30 a.m.

The Virginia Department of Health reports that “out of an abundance of caution, health officials are investigating potential exposures to a second person with measles in the National Capital Region.”

New potential exposure sites and times have been identified that occurred between May 11-15. The locations in Fairfax County include McLean, Herndon, Fairfax, Reston and more. Visit the VDH website for more details.

This new investigation expands the recent one of a measles case in late April in Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. The second case of measles was confirmed in a person who was a close contact of the first case. Regional health officials are mounting a coordinated effort to identify people who may have been exposed to this second case.

After you check the list, please share this information with your family, friends, co-workers and more.

Health Department Expands Lee High School TB Investigation

Posted at 3 p.m.

The Health Department is expanding the tuberculosis (TB) contact investigation that was initiated at Robert E. Lee High School in June after three individuals in the school were diagnosed with active TB disease.

The Health Department now recommends screening and testing for TB infection for all 2012-2013 students, faculty and support staff. In addition, approximately 20 others have been identified as meeting the Health Department’s exposure criteria, which is based on having spent a significant amount of time in the school on multiple occasions and in places where TB transmission may have occurred during the 2012-2013 school year.

While there is no ongoing transmission of TB at Lee High School and the vast majority of the Lee High School community was not at high risk of exposure to TB, the Health Department — out of an abundance of caution — concluded that the expansion is prudent based on multiple factors that included higher-than-expected skin test positivity rate among those who have been tested so far. This expanded level of testing will ensure that everyone who may have been exposed to TB is identified.

The Health Department, in coordination with Fairfax County Public Schools, sent approximately 1,900 letters on July 19 to inform the school community.

The Health Department recommends that only individuals who received a letter plan to attend one of the special clinics that will be held at Lee High School on the dates listed below.

Because the TB test is a two-step process, it is important that when selecting a date for the skin test, the individual is also able to return on the corresponding date for a health care worker to determine whether the test is positive or negative. Returning any other time will require that the skin test be repeated.

TB Testing Schedule at Lee High School

  • Skin Test:  Saturday, Aug. 3, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
    Return for Results:  Monday, Aug. 5, 12 p.m.-4 p.m.
  • Skin Test:  Saturday, Aug. 3, 12-6 p.m.
    Return for Results:  Tuesday, Aug. 6, 8 a.m. -12 p.m.
  • Skin Test:  Monday, Aug. 5, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
    Return for Results:  Wednesday, Aug. 7, 12-4 p.m.
  • Skin Test:  Tuesday, Aug. 6, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
    Return for Skin Test:  Thursday, Aug. 8, 12-4 p.m.
  • Skin Test:  Saturday, Aug. 10, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
    Return for Results:  Monday, Aug. 12, 12-4 p.m.

 More Information about TB.

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