Mass. DPH: 1 Measles Case Linked to Framingham Trader Joe's

UPDATE (2:42 p.m., 2/25/14) - Framingham officials confirm a second measles alert at Samba restaurant on Route 9. An infected person was there Feb. 15 from 5:30-9 p.m., according to officials. Officials also say the second infected person lives in Spencer and works at Bose in Framingham.

(NECN: Alysha Palumbo, Framingham, Mass.) - Public health officials confirm two separate cases of measles within the past week in the state’s Metrowest region – and that has sparked a health alert at a Trader Joe’s in Framingham.

That’s where Framingham health officials say one of the two patients was when he was most contagious on February 15-16.

"The individual had spent a preponderance of their time there during the period of communicability and so from the perspective of notifying those who had either worked there or passed through there as patrons we wanted to make sure those individuals that may have been exposed have information and availability to acquire a vaccine if needed," Framingham Director of Public Health Steven Ward said.

Health officials would not say if the person is an employee or shopper, but they have already held two clinics there and plan to hold a third clinic Tuesday afternoon to try to reach everyone who may have been affected and offer an MMR vaccine if they haven’t already gotten it.

Executive Office of Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz said, "Measles is very contagious, it is spread as an air vector and I think the MMR vaccination stops it in its tracks so that’s why I think it’s so important."

Some shoppers like the Costellos of Sherborn say they’re not panicking about potentially being exposed to the disease.

"I think they’re overdoing it, yeah, I wouldn’t be concerned about it," Susan Costello said.

John Costello said, "There’s a lot of cases where you’re not really going to know who’s been affected with some illness and you’re in that same situation."

But for parents of children too young for the vaccine, those who chose not to get it or aren’t sure if they’ve been vaccinated, it’s definitely a worry.

"It might be of a concern yeah and I don’t remember if I’ve been vaccinated or not for the measles to be honest with you," Brad Richelson of Framingham said.

Several Trader Joe's shoppers we spoke to did not notice the 8 1/2 by 11" Measles Alert sign posted to the door and health officials did not alert the media to the cases.

Framingham health officials say they didn't make a bigger deal about this because they didn't want to alarm people.

Trader Joe's did not respond to our requests for comment.

Health officials have not identified either person diagnosed with measles and have not said where the second person may have been when he or she was contagious.

They say if you are concerned you should visit your doctor, the clinic at Trader Joe's or call the public health department.

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