Traveler in Burlington Area Diagnosed with Measles

For Immediate Release: September 3, 2003

Media Contact: Corbett Sionainn
Vermont Department of Health
(802) 951-5153

BURLINGTON—A person traveling through Burlington on Wednesday, August 27 has been diagnosed with measles.

The individual spent time at the Burlington airport, the Vermont Transit bus station, and on the Church Street Marketplace. People who were in these areas that day may have been exposed.

“Measles is a serious and highly contagious disease,” said Acting State Epidemiologist, Susan Schoenfeld. “We are asking that people be aware of measles and its symptoms. If you develop the symptoms of measles and think you may have been exposed, please contact your healthcare provider.”

Measles is spread through infectious droplets being coughed or sneezed into the air. Initially, measles may appear as a cold with cough, runny nose, fever and watery eyes. Within a few days, a red, blotchy rash begins on the face and then spreads to the rest of the body. People with measles can spread the disease starting four days before and through four days after the rash begins.

“Since measles is so contagious,” continued Schoenfeld, “it is important for people who believe they may have measles to call their healthcare provider before going to the office. Steps can be taken to minimize the exposure of other patients to the disease.”

The Health Department has spoken directly to people that have been identified as having contact with the individual and has alerted physicians statewide about the possibility of measles occurring.

In Vermont, children are immunized twice for measles - once at one year of age and again before school entry. Most people born before 1957 had the disease as a child and are immune.

People who are concerned about exposure to measles may call the Health Department at 802-863-7240 or 1-800-640-4374.