VDH: 5 confirmed measles cases in Virginia among refugees


RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Officials from the Virginia Department of Health say they have identified five people who have been diagnosed with measles.

State health officials are currently reaching out to communities in the Central Health Region and the Northern Health Region who may have been exposed to the people who were diagnosed.

The people confirmed to have measles recently traveled from Afghanistan as part of the U.S. government’s emergency recent evacuation efforts.

Measles is a highly contagious illness that is spread through coughing, sneezing, and contact with droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of an infected person. It is common in many parts of the world, including popular tourist destinations.

Health organizations such as the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) and the Piedmont Health District in central Virginia are currently working to notify people who may have been exposed to confirmed individuals.

In addition, health departments in Northern Virginia say they are working together to identify people who may have been exposed at Dulles International Airport and nearby locations. 

Most Americans are vaccinated against measles as children, which confers lifetime immunity. Two doses are recommended for most individuals, with the first dose given at age 12 to 15 months and the second prior to kindergarten entry, at age 4 to 6 years.

VDH officials are urging parents to make sure children are up to date on their childhood vaccinations.

For more information regarding the investigation or to contact your local health district, click here.

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