Tests on suspected Fairfax measles come back negative

Tests on suspected Fairfax measles come back negative

FAIRFAX, VA (WWBT) - Test results have concluded that a Virginia patient suspected of contracting measles doesn't have the disease after all.

The Fairfax County Health Department announced Wednesday afternoon that tests were conducted to determine if a Fairfax resident being isolated at home with suspected measles symptoms has the disease, and those tests came back negative.

The Fairfax County Health Department said Tuesday it was investigating a Fairfax resident suspected of contracting measles. Health officials said test results won't be known until Wednesday at the earliest. Officials said investigators are identifying potential exposure sites, and the patient with the suspected case is isolated at home.

If the case turned out to be positive, health officials said they would hold a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 11.

Measles have been in the news in 2015 because of an outbreak that started in California. From Jan. 1 to Feb. 6, 2015, 121 people from 17 states and Washington, D.C. were reported to have measles. There are no confirmed cases of measles in Virginia, however the Fairfax Health Department recommends that people review their family's immunization records and check with their medical providers about getting vaccinated if not already vaccinated.

Measles is a highly contagious illness that is spread through coughing, sneezing and contact with secretions from the nose, mouth and throat of an infected individual. Officials said if one person has measles, 90 percent of the people around that infected person who aren't vaccinated will also contract it.

Measles symptoms usually appear in two stages. In the first stage, most people have a fever of greater than 101 degrees, runny nose, watery red eyes and a cough. The second stage begins around the third to seventh day when a rash begins to appear on the face and spreads over the entire body.

Read more about measles signs and symptoms.

The Fairfax County Health Department reminded Virginians that people who have received at least one dose of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine in the past are at very low risk of being infected with measles. Measles is easily preventable through safe and effective MMR vaccine, and the best protection against future measles cases is the on-time vaccination of all susceptible people.

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