News Flash

2024 Press Releases

Posted on: January 11, 2024

PUBLIC HEALTH NOTICE: MONTCO HEALTH OFFICIALS WARN RESIDENTS OF POSSIBLE MEASLES EXPOSURES

[NORRISTOWN, PA]—Montgomery County Health Officials are tracking local potential and confirmed exposures related to a measles outbreak in Philadelphia. Currently, there are eight confirmed cases in Philadelphia and no confirmed cases in Montgomery County. 

 

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Public Health (OPH) is working to identify and contact all Montgomery County residents who may have been exposed at two locations, checking their vaccine status, warning them that they may have been exposed, and issuing quarantine recommendations where necessary. 

 

Montgomery County locations and exposure dates 

The Office of Public Health is working to contact people who may have been exposed at the following places and times. 

 

Holy Redeemer Pediatric Urgent Care-Meadowbrook 

1648 Huntingdon Pike, Meadowbrook, PA 19046 

January 3, between 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 

 

Jefferson Abington Hospital Emergency Department 

1200 Old York Road, Abington, PA 19001 

January 3, between 7 p.m. and 9:40 p.m. 

 

If you were at any of the above sites on the days listed, you may have been exposed to measles. Confirmed cases are currently limited to Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health is maintaining a list of locations where individuals may have been exposed to the virus. Residents can check the list here. 

 

OPH strongly recommends that anyone who may have been exposed to measles should quarantine themselves by staying home and away from others for 21 days following exposure. In addition, people who have not received both doses of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine should talk with their healthcare provider about getting fully vaccinated. 

 

Measles is a very dangerous virus.  

  • About 90% of people who have close contact with an infected person will get measles if they’re not vaccinated. 

  • About 1 in 5 unvaccinated people who gets measles in the United States is hospitalized. 

  • As many as 1 out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children. 

  • About 1 child out of every 1,000 who gets measles will develop encephalitis, or swelling of the brain, which can lead to convulsions and can leave the child deaf or with intellectual disability. 

  • Nearly 1 to 3 of every 1,000 children who become infected with measles will die from respiratory and neurologic complications. 

 

What to do if you may have been exposed 

It’s important to remember that not everyone who was at these sites on the dates and times above was exposed. The Health Department or the facility will contact you if you were exposed. 

  

What to do if you’re immune to measles 

People are immune to measles if they: 

  • Were born before 1957. 

  • Have already had measles. 

  • Have received two doses of measles-containing vaccine (usually given as measles, mumps, and rubella — or MMR — vaccine) and aren’t immune-compromised. 

 

If you are immune to measles, you don’t have to do anything — even if you were in those buildings on the dates listed. 

  

If you’re not immune to measles 

You should take precautions if you may have been exposed and aren’t immune to measles. This includes infants under the age of 12–15 months, who typically haven’t been vaccinated yet. If you or your child aren’t immune, you should: 

  • Contact your healthcare provider or pediatrician right away, especially if you don’t feel well. Tell your doctor about your possible measles exposure. 

  • Alert your healthcare provider before visiting. Tell them that you’ve been exposed to measles and ask them to call the health department. 

  • Stay home. You could give measles to vulnerable people, so you must quarantine. 

 

If you’re not sure if you’re immune 

If you were exposed to measles at a date and location listed above, you should: 

  • Contact your healthcare provider or pediatrician right away, especially if you don’t feel well. They can review your immunization records to make sure you’ve had both doses of MMR vaccine.  

  • Wear a mask in indoor public spaces and around anyone who is unvaccinated, until you learn your status. This will help prevent others from being exposed. 

 

Symptoms of measles 

Measles is an extremely contagious virus. Each person who has measles can infect dozens of others. Measles symptoms usually appear about a week or two after being infected. The first symptoms are usually: 

  • High fever. 

  • Cough. 

  • Runny nose. 

  • Red, watery eyes or pinkeye. 

 

A few days after the first symptoms, more symptoms appear. Those symptoms are: 

  • Koplik spots, which are tiny white spots that can appear in the mouth. 

  • Measles rash, which usually begins as flat spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. 

  • An even higher fever, which can present when the rash appears. 

  • In people with lighter skin colors, the rash can appear red. In people with darker skin colors, the redness may be harder to see, or it may appear purple or darker than surrounding skin.  

 

If you aren’t vaccinated, get vaccinated immediately 

Contact your healthcare provider about vaccines if: 

  • You haven’t been vaccinated. 

  • You have children that are at least one year old and haven’t been vaccinated. 

 

MMR vaccine — which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella — is extremely safe and effective at preventing measles. MMR vaccine has been safely used for decades and protects millions of Americans. Two doses of vaccine are 97% effective at preventing measles. People who have received two doses of vaccine and are not severely immune-compromised are very unlikely to get measles. 

  

Children should get their first dose of vaccine between 12 and 15 months of age. They should get their second dose between 4 and 6 years of age. If you or your child haven’t gotten both doses by age 6, you should get your first or second dose as soon as possible. Infants 6 to 11 months who are traveling internationally should get an early dose of MMR. Talk to your healthcare provider to learn how you can get your MMR vaccine. 

  

Get a free MMR vaccine for yourself or your child. 

Montgomery County residents, who are uninsured or underinsured OR have not previously received an MMR vaccine and have been exposed to an individual with a confirmed case of measles, can call the Montgomery County Office of Public Health Clinics in Norristown at 610-278-5145 or in Pottstown at 610-970-5040 to get an MMR vaccine at no cost regardless of their health insurance status. 

 

Residents with insurance can check with their primary care provider or local pharmacy for MMR vaccine availability. 

 

For updates on measles exposures or spread in Montgomery County visit www.montgomerycountypa.gov/measles. For more information about measles, visit https://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html 


Media Contact: Megan Alt at Megan.Alt@MontgomeryCountyPA.Gov

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in 2024 Press Releases

Montgomery County Certifies North Penn School District Special Election Results

Posted on: February 1, 2024 | Last Modified on: December 31, 2023