In a follow-up to a report one week ago, Hawaii state health officials are reporting an additional case of measles, this one in Honolulu, bringing the state total to 12 in the current outbreak.

Image/National Atlas of the United States
Image/National Atlas of the United States

The most recent case is the second reported from Oahu. Other cases have been seen Maui (4) and Kauai (6).

The current case had no history of travel. According to Dr. Sarah Y. Park, state epidemiologist, one of the Oahu cases may have been in contact with more than 90 people. She advises people to make sure they have been vaccinated and that some may need two shots.

Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes. It is mainly spread through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes.

Measles symptoms begin seven to 21 days after exposure. Measles is contagious from approximately four days before the rash appears through four days after the rash appears. People can spread measles before they have the characteristic measles rash.

People at highest risk from exposure to measles include those who are unvaccinated, pregnant women, infants under six months of age and those with weakened immune systems.

Children should be vaccinated with two doses of the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine. The first dose should be at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at four through six years of age. Infants traveling outside the United States can be vaccinated as early as six months but must receive the full two dose series beginning at 12 months of age; more information is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Adults should have at least one dose of measles vaccine, and two doses are recommended for international travelers, healthcare workers, and students in college, trade school, and other schools after high school.

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