The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is investigating a potential measles outbreak in portions of the Washington region after a patient admitted to Children’s National Medical Center in the District was diagnosed with the potentially deadly and highly contagious virus.
The patient was diagnosed with measles on Friday but had been rendered medical aid in Maryland, including at Prince George’s Hospital Center, in the days before the diagnosis.
The Maryland Department of Health, which is working with the health departments in the District and Prince George’s County, said it is informing people who were in certain locations in the District and Maryland about the diagnosis “out of an abundance of caution.”
Most people in the United States are vaccinated against measles, so the exposure is considered a low risk. But for those who haven’t been vaccinated, the virus is extremely contagious, and 90 percent of people who are not immune can contract measles from being near a single infected person. The virus can live on a surface or hang in the air for as long as two hours after an infected person has coughed or sneezed.
“Individuals who are concerned about possible exposure and vulnerability to measles should contact their primary health care provider or local health department before visiting a provider office or health care facility,” the Maryland Department of Health said in a statement. “Taking these steps reduces the chances of potentially exposing other people to measles.”
The infected patient contracted measles outside the United States and developed symptoms upon returning, the department said. About the third to seventh day after being infected, a rash begins to appear on the face that will spread to the rest of the body, according to the Maryland health department. But it could take more than two weeks for someone to develop symptoms.
Between May 8 and May 15, the patient was in public spaces in Prince George’s County and the District, including the Department of Social Services and Social Security buildings in Hyattsville. The measles patient was also in the Prince George’s Hospital Center Emergency Department and on May 9 rode the No. 12 public transit bus to and from Prince George’s Hospital Center.
The patient has been in isolation since May 13.
— Perry Stein
Metro briefly suspended some service on the Green and Yellow lines Saturday while the fire department put out a small trash fire in the L’Enfant Plaza station.
The D.C. fire department responded to reports of smoke at the station just before 2 p.m. and discovered a “very small smoldering trash fire” about 100 feet from the train platform, fire department spokesman Vito Maggiolo said. The fire was put out with a hand extinguisher and there were no injuries, according to Maggiolo.
“There is no reason to believe it was anything nefarious,” he said.
Metro tweeted that the incident prompted it to temporarily suspend service and offer shuttles between the Pentagon and Mount Vernon Square stations on the Yellow Line and between the Waterfront and Mount Vernon Square stations on the Green Line for a short time Saturday afternoon.
— Perry Stein
A 49-year-old man was fatally stabbed inside a Southwest Washington home early Saturday morning.
Police say they responded to a report of a stabbing around 3:30 a.m. on the 100 block of Joliet Street SW. Inside the residence they found Derrick Roach suffering from a stab wound.
D.C. Fire and EMS transported Roach to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police have not made an arrest in the case and are offering a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone who can provide information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 202-727-9099 or send a text to 50411.
— Perry Stein