The East Shore District Health Department (ESDHD) is working with the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) to investigate a case of measles involving a New Haven County resident who attended the Monday morning playgroup at the Blackstone Library on April 21.
Because the measles virus is very easily spread from person to person the ESDHD is asking anyone who was at the library between the hours of 10:30 a.m. amd 1:30 p.m. on Monday, April 21, 2014 to confirm their measles immunization status with their healthcare provider and be aware of the symptoms of measles so they may quickly seek medical attention.
“Fortunately, most people have been vaccinated against measles,” said Michael Pascucilla, director of public health for the East Shore District Health Department. “Our efforts now are to encourage people who were at the library on Monday, April 21, 2014 between 10:30 am and 1:30 pm to confirm their measles immunization status with their healthcare provider and be aware of the symptoms of measles so they may quickly seek medical attention.”
What You Can Do
Know your immune status. Most Connecticut residents have been vaccinated against measles, but if you are unsure, check with your physician.
• Children should receive their first dose of Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12 to 15 months. School-aged children need two doses of MMR vaccine.
• Adults should have at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Certain additional groups at higher risk for exposure to measles need two doses of MMR, such as international travelers, health care workers, and college students. Adults born in the U.S. before 1957 are considered immune to measles from past exposures, but in situations of exposure to measles may benefit from a dose of MMR vaccine to be safer.
If you are unable to determine your vaccination status, you can ask your physician about performing a blood test to check for immunity.
Know the Signs and Symptoms of Measles
• Symptoms of measles generally begin 7 to 14 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.
Measles is very easily spread from person to person. If you have a fever and a rash and you think you might have measles, you should avoid public settings and telephone your healthcare providers BEFORE going directly to a healthcare facility so steps can be taken to avoid possibly exposing others.
Should you have addition questions or concerns, please call the East Shore District Health Department at 203-481-4233.
For more information, visit www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4209.pdf