Woman Diagnosed With Measles, 2 Other Cases Suspected

BACK BAY (CBS) – Officials with the Boston Public Health Commission are taking serious action.

A second measles vaccination clinic will be held Friday in the Back Bay after a case of measles was confirmed in a woman working at the Boston French Consulate in the Park Square Building

The woman reportedly spread the measles to two other people she came in contact with. One of the victims is a woman in her 30’s that may have been exposed while at a restaurant, while the other victim is the woman’s 20-year-old roommate.

“We were notified about two suspect cases of measles. These were people who either lived near the case, or frequented restaurants right in that area where she was working,” said Dr. Anita Barry of the Boston Public Health Commission.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports.

Health officials are concerned about the illness spreading further because the woman rode the T and visited restaurants and three clinics while contagious a couple weeks ago. Measles is very contagious and can be spread through the air.

“For most people, measles isn’t going to result in a very bad outcome. There are a small number who can really have a problem with it,” said Dr. Barry.

General symptoms include a rash, fever, runny nose, and cough.

Read: Measles fact sheet (.pdf)

The woman is in her 20’s and representatives from the consulate say she is not contagious anymore. Health officials believe she may have contracted the illness overseas.

But, nearly 2,000 employees work in the Park Square Building. Workers said health officials offered free vaccinations on the tenth floor on Thursday.

“They notified us pretty thoroughly with information on measles from the Board of Health and information on the clinic they held yesterday,” said Nick Nasuti who owns Croissant du Jour on the first floor. “It hasn’t affected people coming into work and it hasn’t affected people coming into the business.”

The BPHC said they vaccinated about 80 people.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jim Smith reports

The French consulate said they have about 17 employees and most are at work. The rest are at home as a precaution.

“Every consulate employee has to provide the proof of vaccination,” said Nathalie Batin, press attache in the consulate. “Some of us are cleared and the rest of us stay at home in quarantine.”

Since symptoms can take up to 12 days to surface, workers who had to stay home will be allowed back at the beginning of March.

Royce Tyree works on the same floor as the consulate.

“I actually got up and called my mother and said ‘have I had the measles?'” said Tyree.

Alain Cabashe teaches at an English language school inside the building and said he’s already been vaccinated.

“I didn’t worry about it and I told my staff,” said Cabashe. “It’s a bit strange though, you know in this day and age, especially among adults.”

There was also a measles outbreak locally back in 2006 in the John Hancock building.

There were two other confirmed measles cases in the state this year. Both of those people contracted the disease traveling outside the country.

WBZ-TV’s Alana Gomez, Beth Germano, and Kate Merrill contributed to this report.


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