Health officials said Friday that people recently inside Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia may have been exposed to measles, but the exposure was limited to the hospital and there was no outside threat to the public.
The people with possible exposure were receiving notifications, officials said. No further details about the measles case were provided.
“We believe there is no threat to the public associated with this case of measles,” acting Philadelphia Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole said in a statement.
“But the threat of measles exposure in the United States has been growing over the last decade. We strongly encourage parents to follow the CDC’s immunization schedule and get their children fully vaccinated as soon as they are able. As with the COVID vaccine, the MMR vaccine is the best way to avoid serious complications of a vaccine-preventable disease,” Bettigole said.
The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. Acting State Physician General Denise Johnson said in a statement: “If you have been properly immunized against measles, your risk of getting the disease is minimal. The MMR vaccine is another safe and effective vaccine to prevent severe illness. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health-care provider or call our toll-free hotline at 1-877-PA-HEALTH.”
Earlier this year, the CDC released a report showing that routine childhood vaccinations decreased substantially during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccination numbers rose in subsequent months but still lagged compared with pre-pandemic statistics.
Measles is a highly contagious but vaccine-preventable disease that spreads through coughing, sneezing, or other contact with the mucus or saliva of an infected person, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health said. Symptoms typically appear one to three weeks after exposure and include: rash; high fever; cough; and red, watery eyes.