According to officials, a child in Maine has tested positive for measles, making it the first case in the state since 2019. Despite receiving a dose of the measles vaccine, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has expressed caution, stating that the child is still considered infectious. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises children to receive two doses of the MMR vaccine, with the first dose recommended between the ages of 12 to 15 months and the second between 4 to 6 years old. While some people who have been vaccinated may still contract measles, their symptoms are typically less severe and they are less likely to spread the disease, as per the CDC.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified specific locations where the public may have been exposed to measles, including a mall’s “Family Time Dine and Play” and two medical centers between April 29 and May 1. The agency has advised individuals who were present at these locations during the specified time frame to be vigilant for any signs of symptoms for 21 days, and to immediately contact a healthcare provider if any symptoms arise. The Maine CDC is still awaiting official confirmation from the US CDC regarding the positive measles case.
According to the US CDC, there have been ten confirmed cases of measles in eight states this year. The recent case in Maine marks the first instance of the disease in the state since 2019, according to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
Although measles was declared eliminated in the US in 2000 due to widespread vaccination efforts, declining vaccination rates in recent years have resulted in new outbreaks. An outbreak in Ohio that began in November 2021 affected 85 unvaccinated children.
Measles is a highly contagious disease, with up to 90% of unvaccinated individuals who come into contact with the virus becoming infected, according to the US CDC.