By Susan Petroni
Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials are confirming two cases of measles - one in Framingham and one in another MetroWest community.An individual with measles, and infectious, was at Trader Joe's in Framingham on Feb. 15 and 16, according to the Framingham Board of Health.
Framingham Health Director Steven Ward said he could not provide demographic details on the individual with measles or if he or she was an employee of Trader Joe's.
If anyone was in the store on those days, they may wish to contact their doctor or health care provider.
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.
Adults especially should contact their doctor about their immunication.
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 10 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.
People with measles are infectious for four days prior to rash onset, until four days after onset. If someone is susceptible to measles, they usually show symptoms 10-14 days after exposure.