A Northeastern University student who lives in Boston was diagnosed with measles on Wednesday, and health officials are warning that the individual was in several much-frequented spots in the city earlier this month where other people may have been exposed to the highly contagious virus.
According to the Boston Public Health Commission, exposures at Northeastern occurred from Jan. 3 through Jan. 6. The commission said in a statement the student frequented campus locations including dormitories, dining halls, and classrooms, and also went to numerous other locations throughout the city.
Measles is a disease that is spread through the air, usually through coughing and sneezing, according to authorities. The virus can remain in the environment for up to two hours after the infectious person has left the area, and exposure can occur even without direct contact with an infectious person.
Early symptoms include a high fever, runny nose, cough, and red eyes, the commission said in a statement. A skin rash usually occurs three to five days later. The disease is also typified by flat red spots on the face.
In Boston, exposures could have occurred at the following time and location:
- Logan International Airport Terminal E; Friday, Jan. 3, 8:50 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
- Blick Art Materials, 333 Massachusetts Ave; Saturday, Jan. 4, 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Tatte Bakery & Cafe at the Marino Center, located at 369 Huntington Ave.; Saturday, Jan. 4, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Wollaston Market at the Marino Center; Saturday, Jan. 4, 12:45 p.m. to 3 p.m.
- CVS, 231 Massachusetts Ave.; Sunday, Jan. 5, 11:55 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- Rebecca’s Cafe at Churchill Hall, 360 Huntington Ave.; Monday, Jan. 6, 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
- AT&T store, 699 Boylston St; Monday Jan. 6, 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- UNIQLO, 341 Newbury St.; Monday Jan. 6, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Brandy Melville, 351 Newbury St.; Monday Jan. 6, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Amelia’s Taqueria, 1076 Boylston St.; Monday Jan. 6, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Those who were at those locations could become ill until Jan. 24 through Jan. 27, health authorities said. The commission advised anyone who was exposed and unclear of their immunization status or begins to develop measles symptoms should call their health care provider.
Northeastern spokeswoman Renata Nyul said in a Thursday statement that “no individuals in recent contact with this student have been reported to have demonstrated symptoms and there are no additional diagnoses at this time.”
The school continues to investigate any potential infections, said Nyul, and is encouraging students with concerns to contact the university’s health services. State regulations require proof of immunity to measles for school attendance, including colleges, she said.
The commission urged anyone who does not know their immunization status to get vaccinated with at least one dose of the measles mumps, and rubella vaccine. Officials said that those who have had measles in the past or have received two doses of measles-containing vaccine are unlikely to become ill even if exposed.
“Measles is a dangerous disease and can cause serious complications, but it is preventable," said Dr. Jennifer Lo, the medical director of the city’s public health commission.
This month’s case marks the second confirmed case of the virus in a Boston resident during the past three months. A city resident was diagnosed with measles in early October. Before that, there were no confirmed cases of the measles in the city going back to 2013.