Warning About Measles in Lowell After Infected Patient Identified
Sun Staff Report
LOWELL -- The Lowell Community Health Center is warning the public about measles after a pediatric patient was diagnosed with the contagious respiratory infection on Thursday.
The patient, who is recovering at home, was immediately isolated at the health center, according to officials.
However, anyone who was in the health center’s main lobby, pediatric waiting room, pharmacy or lab between 12:53 p.m. and 5:22 p.m. on Thursday might have been exposed to measles.
In addition, the health center is seeking to identify anyone who accompanied a patient or who visited the lab or pharmacy between those hours, and is therefore at risk for exposure.
Anyone who has already been vaccinated is not at risk. In addition, anyone born before 1957 who was born in the U.S. is likely immune.
The health center is asking patients who were there during those hours and who do not have confirmed immunization records to come in for testing to determine immunity and to get immunized. The health center will be open until 5 p.m. Saturday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Patients do not need an appointment.
Anyone who is not a health center patient but who was present in the health center pharmacy, lobby, pediatrics department or lab during those hours should promptly contact their primary care doctor to determine if they should be tested and vaccinated. Testing and vaccination for these individuals is also available at the health center, located at 161 Jackson St. in Lowell.
The City of Lowell Health Department and Lowell General Hospital are working with the health center to provide testing and vaccines.
The Department of Public Health is working to identify any exposure the individual might have had outside the health center.
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 5 through day 21 of exposure.
For more information about testing and immunization, call Lowell Community Health Center at 978-937-9700.
For more information about measles, the public may call their primary care doctor, the Lowell City Health Department at 978-674-4010 during regular business hours, or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Division of Epidemiology and Immunization at 617-983-6800 (24 hours a day).