WELLNESS
06/28/2017 08:13 am ET

Maine Reports First Confirmed Case Of Measles In 20 Years

The vaccine-preventable disease can cause serious complications, including pneumonia and death.
Vaccination is the best defense against measles, a highly contagious disease. Of the 100 or so confirmed cases of measle
Brian Snyder / Reuters
Vaccination is the best defense against measles, a highly contagious disease. Of the 100 or so confirmed cases of measles in the U.S. this year, most involved unvaccinated individuals, said the federal CDC.

For the first time since 1997, Maine has reported a confirmed case of measles. 

The state’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday that a person in Franklin County had been diagnosed with the highly contagious disease. Dr. Siiri Bennett, the state epidemiologist, told Bangor Daily News that the individual had caught the illness while traveling overseas. No other details about the person or their condition have been released.

At the time of publication, no other cases of measles had been reported or were being investigated in the state. Bennett said in a statement that health officials were working to “identify potentially exposed individuals and make appropriate recommendations to prevent transmission.” 

People may have been exposed to the virus if they were at several locations in Franklin County in Maine between June 15 and June 19, and in the town of Lac-Mégantic in Quebec, Canada, on June 18, the Maine CDC said.

Click the release below for more details.

The state agency said people potentially exposed to the virus “should review their vaccine history and monitor for symptoms.” It added that vaccination is the best protection against measles. Two doses of the vaccine are about 97 percent effective at fending off the disease. 

This year, about 100 people from a dozen states, including California, Michigan and New York, have been diagnosed with measles in the U.S. Most of them were unvaccinated, according to the federal CDC. 

Measles patients of all ages are vulnerable to serious complications, including pneumonia, brain swelling and even death. Symptoms typically appear about one to two weeks after exposure to the measles virus. They can include high fever, cough, runny nose and a rash all over the body.

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