A Maine child who recently tested positive for measles may be the state’s first case of viral infection since 2019, according to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). reported Friday (opens in a new tab) (May 5).
While the case has yet to be confirmed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “out of an abundance of caution,” public health agencies in Maine are assuming the child is contagious and are working to identify and to contact people who may have been exposed.
THE The CDC recommends (opens in a new tab) that children receive their first dose of the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella, between 12 months and 15 months. Children should receive their second dose between 4 and 6 years of age. Alternatively, the MMRV vaccine, which also protects against chickenpox (varicella), can be administered according to the same vaccination schedule.
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One dose of either vaccine protects about 93% against measles and two doses 97%, meaning there is a low risk of infection even after two doses. However, vaccinated people tend to have much milder cases of the disease than unvaccinated people.
The Maine child with a positive measles test had received a dose of a measles vaccine. (Neither the child’s age nor any of his symptoms, if any, were noted in the DHHS statement.)
The Maine DHHS statement includes a list of places the HIV-positive child has recently visited and the times they were at each location. “Anyone in these locations during these times should monitor for symptoms for 21 days after exposure,” the statement said. “If you have symptoms, call a healthcare provider for instructions before you go to the office or hospital to help prevent the spread of infection.”
Between January 1 and April 28, 2023, a total of 10 measles cases were reported nationwide, the CDC reported (opens in a new tab).