Provincetown Public Health Notice: Measles

IMPORTANT PUBLIC HEALTH NOTICE
from the town of Provincetown's official web site

The latest confirmed case of measles in Massachusetts disclosed visiting Provincetown during contagious period. Measles vaccination clinic for the public will be held on Monday June 26, 2006 from 12:00pm to 3:00pm at the Veterans Memorial Elementary School.


Official press release from Brian Carlson, the Provincetown Health Inspector, dated June 23, 2006:

Latest Confirmed Case of Measles in Massachusetts Disclosed Visiting Provincetown During Contagious Period

PROVINCETOWN, MA â?? The Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued a Measles Alert for the Town of Provincetown late yesterday upon the confirmation of a confirmed case of measles having been reported in an individual who visited Grand Union Family Market in Provincetown. The person was infectious and at the Grand Union on June 10th and June 11th.


The Grand Union market in Provincetown where on June 10th and June 11th a person known to be infected with measles visited.

There is a vaccine to prevent measles. (It protects against measles, mumps, and rubella and is called the MMR). The vaccine is normally given to young children, but adolescents and adults who are not immune should also be vaccinated.

Because measles is the most infectious human disease, all susceptible staff at the Grand Union site have been contacted by Grand Union management and advised to attend a measles vaccination clinic organized by the Provincetown Health Department today Friday June 23, 2006 from 3:00pm to 6:00pm at the Towns Emergency Dispensing Site (EDS) located at the Veterans Memorial Elementary School at 1 Mayflower Lane.

Additionally, a measles vaccination clinic for the public will be held on Monday June 26, 2006 from 12:00pm to 3:00pm at the Veterans Memorial Elementary School.

People who should attend the public vaccination clinic for screening are those individuals who recall being at the Grand Union Market in Provincetown on June 10th and 11th and who DO NOT fit one of the following criteria:

  • If you were born in the U.S. before 1957, it is very likely that you are immune to measles.
  • If you were born in the U.S. on or after 1957, and you do not have documentation of having 2 doses of MMR or measles-containing vaccine or blood work that proves immunity, it is strongly recommended that you receive a dose of vaccine.
  • If you were born outside of the U.S. (regardless of year of birth), and you do not have documentation of having 2 doses of MMR or measles-containing vaccine, or blood work showing immunity, it is strongly recommended that you receive a dose of vaccine.
  • If you are pregnant (or think that you might be) or if you have a weakened immune system, it is very important that you contact your health care provider right away.

Measles is a very contagious disease that usually lasts a week or two. It can cause serious problems like ear infections, pneumonia, swelling of the brain in some people, especially pregnant women, infants, and those with weakened immune systems. Adults are also at increased risk for severe disease and may need to be hospitalized due to complications. Measles looks and feels like a cold at first. A cough, high fever, runny nose, and red, watery
eyes are common. These symptoms start about ten days after infection. A few days later, a red blotchy rash starts on the face first, then spreads to the rest of the body.

The virus that causes measles lives in the nose and throat and is sprayed into the air when an infected person coughs or talks. Other people nearby can then inhale the virus. Measles is very infectious and can stay in the air for up to two hours after the contagious person has left the room. Touching tissues or sharing a cup used by someone with measles also spreads the virus. People with measles are infectious for 4 days prior to rash onset, until 4 days after onset. If someone is susceptible to measles, they usually show symptoms 10-14 days after exposure.

If you develop symptoms of measles, please stay home and call your doctor and your supervisor at work.

For more information, please call the Division of Epidemiology and Immunization at (617) 983-
6800 or the Provincetown Health Inspector at 508-487-7000 ext. 537.

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