The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed three cases of measles in the state, one on Maui and two on Kauai. The cases on the two islands are not related to each other and have separate travel histories, but all cases are unvaccinated young adults with recent travel either to the Philippines or Indonesia and Malaysia.
“Measles is highly contagious, spreading through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing, and infecting 90 percent of the contacts who are not immune” said Dr. Sarah Y. Park, state epidemiologist. “Measles outbreaks continue to occur both internationally and on the mainland, especially in areas where vaccination is declining. As travel increases during the holiday season, so does our chance of seeing more cases.”
Since January, there have been 594 cases of measles reported in 22 states according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including two cases in Hawaii reported earlier this year in February. With the additional recently confirmed cases, Hawaii now has a total of five confirmed cases reported in the state this year.
Measles or rubeola, is an acute highly communicable viral disease that is characterized by Koplik spots in the cheek or tongue very early in the disease. A couple of days later a red blotchy rash appears first on the face, and then spreads, lasting 4-7 days. Other symptoms include fever, cough and red watery eyes. The patient may be contagious from four days prior to the rash appearance to four days after rash appearance.
The disease is more severe in infants and adults. Complications from measles which is reported in up to 20% of people infected include; seizures, pneumonia, deafness and encephalitis. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page