Measles case confirmed in Montgomery County; residents urged to monitor for symptoms

Health officials in Montgomery County have confirmed a single case of measles in a county resident.

Individuals who visited the Cabin John Ice Rink in Bethesda (at 10610 Westlake Drive) on May 24, between 6-9 p.m., and/or a professional office building in Gaithersburg (at 16220 Frederick Road) on May 30, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., may have been exposed to the highly contagious viral infection. This is the first reported measles case in Maryland since 2019.

Measles spreads easily through coughing, sneezing, and saliva, and the virus can remain in the air for up to two hours. Officials are urging anyone who may have been at these locations during the specified times (particularly those who are not considered immune) to monitor themselves for symptoms, especially fever. If symptoms such as fever or other signs of measles develop, individuals should contact their healthcare provider (before showing up to the waiting room) and avoid public spaces, schools, and workplaces.

The early symptoms of measles (which typically appear 10 to 14 days after exposure) include: fever, runny nose, cough, and red, watery eyes, followed by a distinctive red rash that spreads throughout the body. People are considered immune to measles if they were born in the United States before 1957, previously had measles or have had two measles vaccine shots.

Pregnant women, infants under 1-year old, and individuals with compromised immune systems are at higher risk of complications from measles infection. Those who may have been exposed on May 24 or May 30 should consult their healthcare provider to determine if treatment with immune globulin, a medication that can prevent measles if administered within six days of exposure, is necessary. 

Concerned individuals are advised to contact their doctor's office or the Montgomery County Health and Human Services' Disease Control Office at 240-777-1755 for further guidance and risk assessment.