Maryland Resident Has Confirmed Case of Measles, the First Case in the State Since 2019

Maryland Resident Has Confirmed Case of Measles, the First Case in the State Since 2019
A nurse holds up a one dose bottle and a prepared syringe of measles, mumps, and rubella virus vaccine made by Merck at the Utah County Health Department in Provo, Utah on April 29, 2019. (George Frey/Getty Images)

A Maryland resident has a confirmed case of measles, the state’s first case of the infectious disease since 2019, according to a news release from Montgomery County.

The county advised anyone who visited the Cabin John Ice Rink in Bethesda on May 24 or a professional office in Gaithersburg on May 30 may have been exposed to measles.

Measles is a highly contagious viral illness, which can spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes or shares germs by touching objects or surfaces. Even after an infected person leaves a room, the measles virus can live for up to two hours in the air.

The disease begins with symptoms typical of many respiratory illnesses, followed by a characteristic rash that usually appears on the face and spreads downward three to five days after symptoms begin.

Measles was declared eliminated from the United States in 2000, thanks to an intensive vaccination program, according to the US CDC’s website.

Even if a disease is eliminated, outbreaks can still occur if an unvaccinated person travels to or from a country where the disease is still common, becomes infected and brings it back to the United States, introducing the virus into a community. The traveler can transmit measles to anyone who is unvaccinated.

In the United States, more than 90 percent of children have been vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella by age 2, according to the CDC. Two doses of the vaccine are 97 percent effective against measles, according to the CDC.

There have been 10 measles cases this year in the United States as of April 28, the CDC reported.

There were 121 cases of measles in 2022, with many centered on an outbreak in central Ohio, sending 36 children to the hospital.

The CNN Wire contributed to this report.