Measles case confirmed in Lowell, public health warning issued





The Lowell Community Health Center issued a measles warning on Saturday after a child was diagnosed with a contagious respiratory disease.

In a statement, the health center said the patient was "immediately isolated" once diagnosed Thursday, and now he is recovering at home.

Officials said anyone was in the main lobby of the health center, in a pediatric room, in a pharmacy or in a laboratory on Thursday between 12:53 pm. and 5:22 pm may have been exposed

Lowell CHC worked with the Lowell health department and the Massachusetts public health department to find people at risk of exposure.

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Dr. Randi Berkowitz, Medical Director of Lowell CHC, said that if someone had been exposed to measles on Thursday, it is probably still not contagious.

"We begin to worry that measles are contagious in about five days," said Berkowitz. "The individual … entered Thursday, so it's a little more than two days ago now."

Anyone who has already been vaccinated is not at risk, according to the health center's statement. Even those born in the United States before 1957 are probably immune to the disease.

Lowell CHC requested that all patients visited during those hours and have not been vaccinated to be immunized. The health center will be open for these patients from 8:00 to 17:00. on Sunday.

Any non-Lowell CHC patient who may have been exposed should contact their primary care physician, the statement states. They will also be able to be tested and vaccinated at Lowell CHC.

The statement states that anyone who chooses not to be vaccinated "must be excluded from public activities, including work or school, from day 5 to day 21 of the exposure, to avoid spreading the disease".

Sophia Eppolito can be reached on sophia.eppolito@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @SophiaEppolito.

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