Measles Case Confirmed in Maine
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (MeCDC) reported the first case of measles in Maine yesterday, May 21, 2019. The patient did not visit any Northern Light Health facility, however we must all remain diligent regarding this public health concern.
This case involved a school-aged child from Somerset County. The child was vaccinated, did not have any serious complications, and is fully recovered from the disease. MeCDC is working with the family and clinicians to identify any people who may have been in contact with the child and to assess anyone potentially exposed for evidence of immunity.
Northern Light Health recommends the best protection against measles is the MMR vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella, which has been proven to be very effective and provides long-lasting protection. Although receiving the vaccine does not mean you cannot contract measles, if you are vaccinated, you may experience a mild case. Without immunity, the possibility increases of devastating health complications, and even death.
Is measles really that serious?
Measles is highly contagious viral disease and is spread from person to person by direct contact, or when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. Measles can be present in the air for up to two-hours after an infected person has left. An infected person can spread measles to others four days before developing the rash and four days afterward.
Common symptoms typically include:
Fever (may spike to more than 104°F)
Red, watery eyes
A characteristic red blotchy rash appears on face on the third to seventh day and becomes generalized, spreading from the head to the trunk to the lower extremities.
What if I think I have measles?
Call your primary care provider. To keep everyone safe, you may be given special instructions to prevent the spread of measles.
If you have any questions or concerns about measles, the MMR vaccine, or your immunity to the disease, or if you have not received the vaccine, we encourage you to reach out to your primary care provider’s office.
You can also find out more about measles and the MMR vaccination on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: https://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/index.html