First Maine measles case in two years recorded in Somerset County

Grant Boone
May 25, 2019

ME health officials confirmed the first case of measles in the state, bringing the total number of states reporting the highly contagious viral disease to 25.

According to PHE, there were 231 confirmed cases of measles in the United Kingdom in the first quarter of 2019 compared to 90 in the last quarter of 2018.

States reporting measles cases this year are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington. Thirty of the new cases were in New York state, especially in New York City and suburban Rockland County.

"Of most concern are people who have not been vaccinated, pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals", the health department said in a statement.

Although the virus was eliminated from the country in 2000, meaning the disease was no longer a constant presence, outbreaks still happen via travelers coming from countries where measles is still common, according to the CDC. These individuals should receive one dose of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. That includes anyone who received two doses of measles vaccine as a child, as well as people born before 1957.

So much so that Public Health England (PHE) is now calling on all parents to get their children vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) either at the point of the vaccine being offered, or now if they skipped it at the time.

Houston baking in summerlike temps for Memorial Day weekend
Monday, May 27: Memorial Day will be picture flawless and not as warm with mostly sunny skies and a high in the mid 70s. Most of the western part of the state could see wet weather throughout the day on Saturday and again on Sunday .

And infectious disease experts expect the numbers of cases will just continue to grow.

Measles used to be a concern for worldwide travelers, but now with unvaccinated and under-vaccinated places in the country, traveling at home is something you have to watch out for as well, according to Mesa County Public Health. The level of protection is around 99 per cent after a second dose.

Health Minister Seema Kennedy urged parents and young people to help the government to prevent more cases by taking up the MMR vaccine. Vaccination only takes a few minutes but will protect you from a nasty disease which could result in life changing complications or even death. PHE is therefore urging those who have only had one dose to ensure they are fully vaccinated with two doses.

"The vaccine was an enormous catapult for improving the health of children and young people and still is".

In April, almost 50 people from Gooding were exposed to the virus while in Seattle. Both locations are home to Orthodox Jewish communities that have been reporting an increasing number of cases since October.

The initial symptoms develop 14 to 21 days after a person is infected.

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