Health officials said Friday that a fourth person in Maryland contracted measles this month.
The Maryland Department of Health said the latest case is associated with exposure at a medical office building on 4000 Old Court Rd. in the Pikesville area, one of several places also linked to the third case.
The agency still is investigating whether all four cases are linked. “The department has identified a link between at least three of the cases,” spokeswoman Brittany Fowler said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines three or more cases linked in time or place as an outbreak.
Because of health privacy laws, officials did not release information about the patients. Officials listed three locations in Pikesville and times that people may have been exposed. They include the medical office building on Old Court Road, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 2, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 14 and 9:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 16.
The potential exposure points also include Market Maven, at 1630 Reisterstown Rd., from 11:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. April 14 and Seven Mile Market, at 201 Reisterstown Rd., from 12:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. April 14. Health officials said they are directly notifying people who may have been exposed at additional locations.
Measles is a viral infection that is easily spread to unvaccinated people through coughing, sneezing and secretions from the mouth, according to state health officials. The virus may remain in the air for up to two hours, officials said. Residents are urged to ensure their families have been vaccinated for measles and other “vaccine-preventable diseases.”
The first symptoms of measles include a fever, a runny nose and coughing, and red watery eyes. They typically can surface up to 14 days after exposure, with a rash usually appearing on the face after the early symptoms and spreading to the rest of the body, health officials said.
The Maryland cases join scores of new ones recorded recently across the nation.