Public Health Officials Confirm Maine’s First Measles Case In 2 Years

Maine is vulnerable to measles outbreaks because of its worst vaccination rates for students who enter kindergarten.

Maines First Measles Case

Amid ongoing measles outbreak in the United States, the first case was confirmed in a school-aged child in Somerset County on Monday. The officials said that others might have got exposed to the infection in Madison and the hospital in Skowhegan.

On Tuesday, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Maine’s first measles case in two years, adding it to the growing list of states affected by the country’s most severe measles outbreak.

Maine, in particular, is susceptible to measles outbreak because it has the worst vaccination rates for students who enter kindergarten.

The CDC said in a new release, “The child is vaccinated, did not have any serious complications, and is fully recovered from the disease. Maine CDC notified the facilities where potential exposure occurred and is working with them to ensure potentially exposed individuals are made aware.”

The health officials released a list of locations, which include Madison junior and senior high schools, Waterville Pediatrics, and the ER at Redington-Fairview General Hospital, where people are potentially exposed at from April 30 to May 6.

The CDC said, “People who may have been exposed should review their vaccine history and monitor for symptoms.”

The agency stated, “Those who are not immunized or do not know their measles immunization status should get vaccinated with at least one dose of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to protect from subsequent exposures. Individuals who were exposed and begin to develop symptoms should contact their health providers for instructions before arriving at the providers’ offices or hospitals, to ensure precautions are taken to prevent further infection.”

It added, “If symptoms are consistent with the disease, testing may be performed to determine whether the individual is infected. Individuals without symptoms should not be tested.”

According to the U.S. CDC, more than 880 cases have been reported across 24 states as of May 17. As the first confirmed case in Maine reported after May 17, it has not been shown in the federal report. However, once it is reported, Maine would be the 25th state.

In the meantime, the Maine House and Senate approved a bill, which would ban all non-medical exemptions to school-required vaccinations.

In Maine, the last confirmed measles case was in 2017. The low vaccination rate has what made the return of the preventable disease. In Maine, 43 elementary schools had 15 percent of parents denying vaccines for their children entering kindergarten on non-medical, philosophical and religious background. Maine Senate, however, reverses course and ends the religious exemption for vaccinations.