Measles case confirmed in Lowell, public health warning issued

Lowell Community Health Center issued a measles warning Saturday after a child was diagnosed there with the contagious respiratory disease.

In a statement, the health center said the patient was “immediately isolated” when diagnosed on Thursday, and now is recovering at home.

Officials said anyone who was in the health center’s main lobby, pediatric waiting room, pharmacy, or lab on Thursday between the hours of 12:53 p.m. and 5:22 p.m. might have been exposed.

Lowell CHC has been working with the Lowell Health Department and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to find individuals who were at risk of exposure.

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Dr. Randi Berkowitz, Lowell CHC’s chief medical officer, said that if anyone was exposed to measles on Thursday, they are likely not yet contagious.

“We start to worry about measles being contagious at around five days,” Berkowitz said. “The individual…came in on Thursday so that’s a little more than two days ago now.”

Anyone who has already been vaccinated is not at risk, according to the health center’s statement. Those born in the US before 1957 are also likely immune to the disease.

Lowell CHC asked that any patients who visited during those hours and haven’t been vaccinated to go in to be immunized. The health center will be open for these patients from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Any non-Lowell CHC patients who might have been exposed should contact their primary care doctor, the statement said. They will also be able to be tested and vaccinated at Lowell CHC.

The statement said that anyone who chooses not to be vaccinated “must exclude themselves from public activities, including work or school, from day five through day 21 of exposure, to avoid spreading the disease.”

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