THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

First measles case of 2015 confirmed in Massachusetts

First measles case of 2015 | Courtesy of nature.com
A recent announcement from the Hinton State Laboratory has confirmed the first measles case for 2015 in the state of Massachusetts.

Health professionals state that the measles case was discovered in a student who is visiting from Western Europe. They also stated that the state’s high rates of vaccinations should adequately protect the community from any potential measles outbreak.

Measles is infamous for being highly contagious, which is why health professionals encourage people who may have been exposed to the virus to immediately call their primary care doctor. Such individuals will be required to check their immunization status and verify that they have symptoms of measles.

Measles symptoms begin to manifest between 10 days and two weeks of being exposed to the virus. Patients will experience symptoms similar to a head cold: cough, fever, red eyes and runny nose. Between two to four days of seeing initial symptoms, measles patients will develop a rash beginning on their heads and moving downward.

“Over 95 percent of students in Massachusetts have already been vaccinated against measles, making a widespread outbreak unlikely,” Dr. Monica Bharel, commissioner of public health, said. “Fortunately, the measles vaccine (called MMR) is safe and highly effective. As most measles cases in the U.S. have been among unvaccinated people and people who don’t know their vaccination status, this provides an opportunity to remind people to confirm their immunization status with their healthcare provider, and for parents to have their children vaccinated.”

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