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Maine Confirms First Case Of Measles In Two Decades

First Posted: Jun 28, 2017 06:19 AM EDT
Measles Immunization Drive In Jakarta
An Indonesian health worker vaccinates an Indonesian child against measles.
(Photo : Dimas Ardian/Getty Images)

A case of measles has been confirmed in Franklin county, as confirmed by the Maine Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory. This is the first case of measles reported in the state since 1997.

According to CBS News, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now working with doctors to identify individuals who may have been exposed to the disease. This calls for members of the public who visited several locations in Farmington and Kingfield between June 15 and June 19. The list includes the Narrow Gauge Cinema (Farmington) in the afternoon and evening of June 15 and the Kingfield Woodsman (Kingfield) in the late morning and early afternoon of June 18. Other locations identified are Restaurant la Chocolaterie in Quebec, Canada, and the Franklin Memorial Hospital Laboratory and Grantlee's Tavern and Grill in Farmington.

Measles is a disease that can be prevented by vaccine. However, as noted by the World Health Organization, it is still one of the leading causes of death among young children due to its contagious nature. In 2015, about 134,200 people were said to have died due to the disease, most of them children under the age of 5.

The disease is caused by a virus that normally passes through direct contact and through the air. It then infects the respiratory tract and spreads throughout the body. Most of the deaths related to measles are caused by complications, which are common in young children. Severe cases, however, are likely to occur among malnourished children.

A single un-diagnosed occurrence of the disease could spell disastrous for poor communities. Because the disease can spread through the air, outbreaks can result in epidemics, which in turn could cause many deaths among children. Parents are encouraged to get measles vaccines for their children as part of routine health services.

In 2015, about 85 percent of children around the globe received their first dose of vaccine on their first birthday. However, two doses are recommended to ensure immunity.

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