A Second Case of Measles Confirmed in ConnecticutThe Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced that it has confirmed a second case of measles in a New Haven County adult. Both cases were hospitalized and have been released. DPH is collaborating with local partners to identify contacts and implement appropriate control measures. Investigators have not identified any common links between the first and second cases, although both were probably exposed to measles in early January.
“The single best way to protect yourself and your children from measles is to be vaccinated,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino. “The measles vaccine is safe and effective, and protects both individuals and communities from outbreaks as long as most people are vaccinated.”
Most Connecticut residents have been vaccinated. Individuals who are unsure of their vaccination status are encouraged to check with their physician. People who have had measles in the past or who have been vaccinated against measles are considered immune.
“Measles is very easily spread from person to person,” cautioned Commissioner Pino. “If you have a fever and a rash and you think you might have measles, you should avoid public settings and telephone your healthcare provider BEFORE going directly to a healthcare facility so steps can be taken to avoid possibly exposing others.”
Fortunately, the majority of people exposed to measles are not at-risk of developing the disease since most people have either been vaccinated or have had measles in the past, before vaccination became routine. CDC recommends all children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12- through 15-months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. One dose of measles vaccine is about 93% effective at preventing measles if exposed to the virus. Two doses are about 97% effective. Measles vaccine does not cause measles illness.
Adults should have at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Certain groups need two doses of MMR, including: college students, health care workers, international travelers, and persons at high risk for measles complications. Adults born in the U.S. before 1957 are considered immune to measles from past exposures, but in situations where exposure to measles is likely, these adults may benefit from a dose of MMR vaccine. Individuals who are unsure of their vaccination status are encouraged to check with their physician.
Symptoms of measles generally begin 7-21 days (typically 14-16 days) after a person is exposed to an infected person. A typical case of measles begins with mild to moderate fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes (conjunctivitis), and sore throat. Three to five days after the start of these symptoms, a red or reddish-brown rash appears, usually starting on a person’s face at the hairline and spreading downward to the entire body. At the time the rash appears, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
The rash typically lasts at least a few days and then disappears in the same order. People with measles may be contagious up to 4 days before the rash appears and for four days after the day the rash appears.
As of January 31st, 79 cases have been reported nationally to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during 2019 in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.
In 2018, three cases of measles were reported in Connecticut. Click here for information on the annual numbers of vaccine preventable disease cases in Connecticut.
For more information about measles, please visit www.cdc.gov/measles.