- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed two cases of measles in a suburb just west of Boston and issued a warning for other Framingham residents: You may be exposed to the highly contagious disease.

The cases were tracked to the Trader Joe’s on Route 9 between Feb. 15 or 16, The Boston Globe reported.

Those who were vaccinated as children are immune from the disease. But those who weren’t — or who aren’t sure if they received the shot — could see symptoms soon. Medical experts say it doesn’t take long for the disease to set in once the person’s been exposed.

Symptoms generally appear between 10 days and two weeks after exposure and include fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes. A rash may appear then disappear. Measles spreads easily — by coughing, sneezing and even breathing.

“Measles is a highly contagious disease,” said Framingham Board of Health Chairman Michael Hugo, in the Boston Globe. “We want to make sure we can get the immunization into people who were exposed as soon as possible.”

The measles’ confirmation comes just after California health officials reported up to 25 cases of paralysis in children due to a polio-like illness with similar symptoms. Polio was eradicated in the 1950s from the nation, and doctors are puzzled by this copycat-like illness that has left children in sudden states of paralysis that appear permanent.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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