Health officials work to contain measles in Boston
BOSTON -- Boston health officials worked Thursday to keep one woman’s measles infection from becoming an outbreak.
A woman at the French consulate was diagnosed with the measles. Now health officials are trying to figure out if anyone else might have been exposed.
Boston Public Health officials went to the Park Square Building on St. James Avenue on Wednesday to offer vaccinations to anyone in the downtown building - including Bay State College students - who might need it. They gave out 80 vaccinations.
The French Consulate said they have 17 people in their office and they are allowed to come back if they had been cleared, otherwise they have to stay home until March 3.
“I called my mother and said, ‘Have I had the measles?’” said one man.
“I think what they’re trying to do is make sure everyone is aware of it,” said another man.
Boston Public Health officials said the woman in her 20s working as an intern in the French Consulate contracted the disease while traveling overseas. That office was notified last Friday.
“Everyone consulate employee has to provide a proof of vaccination. Some of us were cleared and came back [to] the office. The rest are at home in quarantine,” said Nathalie Bastin of the French Consulate.
“It’s very easily spread. Measles is a very contagious virus that travels through the air. You don’t need much of an exposure to come down with it,” said Doctor Anita Barry of the Department of Public Health.
Beginning in 1956, students had to be immunized in order to enter school, so many people were not worried.
But James Sullivan said he never had the vaccination.
“I don’t believe I did. I remember when I was in elementary school it came through, but I didn’t get it, so yeah, I’m thinking I might get it,” said Sullivan.
Since so many people have had the vaccine, many feel safe. Health officials said if you do get the measles you are only contagious for eight days - four days before you get the rash and four days after.
The woman did ride public transportation, so Boston Public Health said if anyone has concerns they can call them.
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