MARYLAND, USA — The Maryland Department of Health is warning the public they have confirmed a fourth measles case in a Maryland resident.

The Maryland Department of Health has confirmed a fourth measles case in a Maryland resident. The MDH wants to inform anyone who visited the following locations during the times noted below that they may have been exposed to measles.

  • 4000 Old Court Rd in Pikesville on Sunday, April 14 from 9:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Market Maven (1630 Reisterstown Rd, Pikesville) on Sunday, April 14 from 11:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Seven Mile Market (201 Reisterstown Rd, Pikesville) on Sunday, April 14 from 12:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Individuals who may have been exposed at additional locations are being notified directly.

 “It is concerning that three cases of measles have been identified in Maryland in such a short period of time,” Deputy Secretary for Public Health Frances B. Phillips, RN, MHA said in a release. “The measles virus can spread very easily between unvaccinated people, and there have been large outbreaks in several other areas of the country."

Tuesday, officials confirmed a second case of measles, but said the person infected had come into contact with the first case and both had contracted it out of state.

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Measles outbreaks have become an increasing concern in the U.S. as a small percentage of parents refuse to vaccinate their children based on scientifically unfounded fears that vaccines may be linked to autism and other ill effects.

"Vaccination is the best way to stop additional infections," Phillips said. "We are asking that Marylanders ensure they and their families are up-to-date on vaccinations against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.” 

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According to CDC data, approximately 92.4 percent of Maryland children ages 19-35 months have received at least the first dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. By the time they've reached kindergarten, approximately 98.6 percent of Maryland children have received both MMR doses – giving Maryland the second-highest MMR vaccine compliance rate in the country, right behind Mississippi.

Recent outbreaks of the measles in Washington state, New York and New Jersey have been tied to unvaccinated residents in those areas. In Washington in particular, health officials have linked more than 60 measles cases mostly to children whose parents have chosen not to vaccinate them for non-medical, non-religious reasons.

In Maryland, non-medical vaccine exemptions are rare, with only .9 percent of the state's kindergartners claiming such a waiver. Another .6 percent are exempted for medical reasons. While that's low relative to the rest of the country, that number of vaccine-exempt children has nearly doubled over the past decade, rising from .8 percent in 2010 to 1.5 percent in 2018. Unlike Washington state, Maryland does not allow parents to claim philosophical exemptions for vaccinating their children.