By Madeline Farber
Published January 10, 2020
Heads up, Boston residents: A Northeastern college student who spent time in at least 10 different locations while infected with measles may have exposed others to the highly contagious disease.
The Boston Health Commission on Thursday said the student, who was not identified, was diagnosed with measles on Jan. 8, marking the first confirmed case in the city since October.
Health officials warned that exposures at the university occurred between Jan. 3 and Jan. 6, noting he or she “frequented many locations on campus, including dormitories, dining hall and classrooms.”
The student also visited various off-campus locations on the following days:
Friday, January 3rd
Saturday, January 4th
Sunday, January 5th
Monday, January 6th
Health officials warned those exposed could become ill up to 21 days after exposure, or Jan. 24 through Jan. 27.
Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads through the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes. Others can contract measles when they breathe the contaminated air or touch a contaminated surface, and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth.
“Infected people can spread measles to others from four days before through four days after the rash appears,” says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The MMR vaccine can protect both individuals and other people from contracting the virus. Young children are typically most at risk of contracting measles. The CDC recommends children get two doses of the MMR vaccination, but the first dose is typically given to children when they are between 12 and 15 months old, with the second occurring between ages 4 and 6.