LOWELL (CBS) — A case of the measles in a two-year-old boy has been confirmed in Lowell. The toddler, who is now home recovering, was at the Lowell Community Health Center on Thursday.
“Anyone who was in the Lowell CHC main lobby, pediatric waiting room, pharmacy, or lab between the hours of 12:53 p.m. and 5:22 p.m. might have been exposed to measles,” said a statement from Lowell Health Department. The Lowell CHC is working with the Lowell Health Department and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to track down anyone who may have been exposed.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Randi Berkowitz said, “We have a list of about 300 people that were potentially exposed.”
Anyone who was at the Center during that time and who does not have confirmed immunization records should return to get tested and vaccinated from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. An appointment is not needed.
“Right now there are not going to be any signs or symptoms,” explained infectious disease physician Dr. Catherine Yu. “Nobody is contagious yet — even the people who were exposed or here.”
It typically takes about five days for symptoms to show.
What separates measles from the common cold is the rash. “It starts at the hairline and then it goes down the body,” said Berkowitz.
If you are vaccinated, you are not at risk. If you are older than 61 and were born in the U.S., you are likely immune.
The Department of Public Health is working to establish if anyone outside the Lowell CHC may have been exposed.
“Young infants, pregnant women, those with severe vaccine allergies and those who are immunocompromised should talk to their doctor about whether additional prevention steps are necessary.” Additionally, “those who were not previously vaccinated and were exposed but opt not to be to vaccinated must exclude themselves from public activities, including work or school, from day five through day 21 of exposure, to avoid spreading the disease.”