Health officials in New Hampshire are investigating an individual that recently visited New Hampshire was subsequently found to be infected with the measles virus.
This person traveled to Hampton Beach while considered infectious from approximately noon until 6pm on July 9, 2017 and spent time on the beach as well as at several locations on Ocean Boulevard. There are no additional cases identified related to this situation.
The infectious individual spent almost all their time in the open air, which likely minimizes the risk of further transmission, and New Hampshire is well protected from widespread measles transmission due to a high vaccination rate in our school-aged children. However, New Hampshire DHHS is encouraging people who were at Hampton Beach the afternoon of July 9th to monitor themselves for symptoms. Symptoms of measles infection usually begin with high fever, cough, runny nose, and conjunctivitis several days prior to development of a body rash. Anybody who feels sick should call their healthcare provider before going directly to a healthcare facility.
“Measles is a very contagious disease because it can be transmitted through the air. However, we do not anticipate a large outbreak because of the high vaccination rate of people in the State,” said Dr. Benjamin Chan, State Epidemiologist. “This situation is a good reminder for people to check their own vaccination status to make sure they are protected against future infection.”
NH DHHS recommends that all people review their vaccination status with their healthcare providers to ensure adequate immunity to measles. The measles vaccine (MMR vaccine) is very effective, and more than 99% of individuals who receive two doses of the vaccine develop immunity to measles.
Measles is caused by a virus that is passed from person to person through the air when someone with the disease sneezes, coughs, or talks. It is very easy for individuals who have not received the measles vaccine to contract it from someone else. The incubation period for measles from the time of exposure is typically 10 to 14 days, but can be as long as 21 days.
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