Passenger with measles on Va. train

August 21, 2011

A foreign visitor to Northern Virginia had the measles, and state health officials issued an alert Sunday for anyone who was on the train on which the visitor arrived.

A Health Department spokeswoman said the visitor took Amtrak’s Northeast regional train No. 171 Wednesday from Philadelphia. Maribeth Brew­ster, the department’s risk communications manager, said passengers could have been exposed and should check their vaccination status.

Measles, which is highly contagious, can be spread through coughing and sneezing and by contact with nasal, oral or throat secretions from an infected person.

Passengers who develop symptoms should check with their health-care providers. Early symptoms include fever and cough; a rash comes later. Symptoms from Aug. 17 exposure could develop until Sept. 7, Brewster said.

She said the visitor contracted measles abroad and showed symptoms only after arriving in the United States. The person, an adult, is “doing fine” while “self-isolating” in Northern Virginia, Brewster said.

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