PHILADELPHIA—The Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Montgomery County Office of Public Health, and Pennsylvania Department of Health are notifying people who were at the following locations of a possible exposure to the measles virus:

  • CVS Pharmacy
    • 10901C Bustleton Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19116
    • Wednesday, May 15, 2024, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Holy Redeemer Hospital Emergency Department
    • 1648 Huntingdon Pike, Strauss Emergency Pavilion, Meadowbrook, PA 19046
    • Thursday, May 16 until Friday, May 17, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
  • Holy Redeemer Hospital Medical-Surgical Unit
    • 1648 Huntingdon Pike, Strauss Emergency Pavilion, Meadowbrook, PA 19046
    • Thursday, May 16 until Friday, May 17, 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Measles is a highly contagious virus. Persons who have measles can spread the virus to others who are not protected against the virus through direct contact with respiratory droplets, or through droplets in the air from coughing and sneezing. The early symptoms of measles are fever, runny nose, cough, and red, puffy eyes, followed by rash. In some people, it can be a very serious infection that leads to pneumonia, brain infection and death.

“We believe there is no threat to the general public associated with this case of measles,” said Pennsylvania Department of Health Acting Secretary Dr. Debra Bogen. “We encourage people who were possibly exposed to take action if they are not protected against measles. Many countries, including travel destinations, are experiencing measles outbreaks, so the potential for travel-related measles cases and subsequent outbreaks in the United States has increased. We strongly encourage parents to follow the CDC’s immunization schedule and get their children fully vaccinated as soon as they are able.”

Residents who are planning to travel outside the United States should speak with their healthcare provider about whether additional vaccination is needed. A recent measles outbreak in Ohio sickened 85 children, almost all of whom were unvaccinated. Notably, 36 children were hospitalized due to measles in that outbreak. The recent measles outbreak in Philadelphia was similar and involved 9 mostly unvaccinated cases with 7 individuals hospitalized. The MMR vaccine is safe and highly effective and is the best way to avoid serious complications of a vaccine-preventable disease.

The participating health departments recommend the following:

  1. Anyone at the above locations should follow the instructions below to determine if you are protected from measles, and symptoms to look out for if you are not protected.
  2. Determine if you are protected against measles. Generally, you are considered protected (immune) if you were:
    • Born before 1957, or
    • Have already had measles, or
    • Have received two doses of measles-containing vaccine (usually given as measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine).
      • Look at your vaccination records or ask your healthcare provider to see if you have already had two doses of this vaccine.
      • Measles vaccine is routinely recommended for patients 12–15 months with a second dose given at age 4–6 years. Infants under 12 months are not eligible for vaccine and are not protected.

If you are protected from measles, you do not have to do anything. Measles vaccine is extremely effective at preventing measles.

  1. If you are not protected from measles, you should receive a dose of MMR vaccine. Talk to your healthcare provider to learn how you can get this vaccine.
  2. Those who are under 12 months of age, pregnant and not immune, or are immunosuppressed (have a weakened immune system) should consult with their healthcare provider as soon as possible. Management of exposure to measles may be different with these conditions.
  3. Measles is contagious for 4 days before to 4 days after rash starts. If you are not immune and may have been exposed, you could give measles to someone at high risk before developing rash. To prevent that from happening, please wear a mask in indoor public spaces and around anyone who is unvaccinated until 3 weeks after the exposure.
  4. If you are not immune and may have been exposed, and you develop any symptoms through June 7, 2024 that appear like measles, contact your doctor immediately. The early symptoms of measles are fever, runny nose, cough, and puffy, red eyes, followed by rash. Tell your doctor that you may have been exposed to measles. You should also notify your local health department (Philadelphia: 215-685-6740, Montgomery County: 610.278.5117) or the state health department at 877-724-3258 for residents of other counties in Pennsylvania if you develop measles symptoms.

For more information about measles, visit the CDC’s webpage on measles.