Maine CDC Press Release

May 21, 2019

Maine CDC Confirms Case of Measles in Maine

Maine's first case of measles since 2017 involved a school-aged child in Somerset County. There were no serious complications, and the child is fully recovered.

AUGUSTA, Maine – Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed a case of measles in Maine, the first since 2017.

Maine CDC confirmed the case on May 20, 2019. The case involves a school-aged child from Somerset County. The child is vaccinated, did not have any serious complications, and is fully recovered from the disease. Maine CDC notified the facilities where potential exposure occurred and is working with them to ensure potentially exposed individuals are made aware.

It's currently unknown where Maine's case was exposed to measles. However, sporadic cases are not unexpected. As of today, 880 cases of measles have been confirmed in 24 states.

Individuals were potentially exposed to measles if they were at the locations below during the following time periods:

Madison Junior High School Tuesday April 30
Wednesday May 1
Thursday May 2
Friday May 3
7am - 5pm
Madison Junior High School's Baseball Field Thursday May 2 2:30pm - 7pm
Madison Junior High School's Baseball Field Saturday May 4 7:00am - 12:00pm
Madison Area Memorial High School Tuesday April 30
Wednesday May 1
Friday May 3
9:00am - 12:00pm
Waterville Pediatrics Thursday May 2 7:50am - 10:15am
Redington Fairview Emergency Department Saturday May 4 9:30pm - Midnight
Redington Fairview Emergency Department Sunday May 5 12:01am - 2:15am
Redington Fairview Emergency Department Monday May 6 2:25pm - 5:25pm

Individuals potentially exposed (as defined by the table above) should review their vaccine history and monitor for symptoms. Those who are not immunized or do not know their measles immunization status should get vaccinated with at least one dose of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine to protect from subsequent exposures. Individuals who were exposed and begin to develop symptoms should contact their health providers for instructions before arriving at the providers' offices or hospitals, to ensure precautions are taken to prevent further infection. If symptoms are consistent with the disease, testing may be performed to determine whether the individual is infected. Individuals without symptoms should not be tested.

Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97 percent effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93 percent effective. About 3 out of 100 people who get two doses of MMR vaccine will get measles if exposed to the virus. However, they are more likely to have a milder illness, and less likely to spread the disease to other people.

Maine CDC has confirmed no additional cases of measles this year.

"The best protection against measles is vaccination," said State Epidemiologist Dr. Siiri Bennett. "MMR vaccine provides long-lasting protection against measles, and in those rare cases where vaccinated individuals become ill, vaccination helps reduce the severity and spread of illness, potentially saving lives."

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease characterized by fever; cough; runny nose; and red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis) followed by a rash that spreads from the head to the trunk to the lower extremities. Measles can cause severe health complications including pneumonia, encephalitis (brain swelling), and death. Measles is transmitted when an infected person coughs or sneezes; infected people are contagious from four days before their rash starts through four days afterwards. After an infected person leaves a location, the virus remains alive for up to two hours on surfaces and in the air. The incubation period – the period from exposure to onset of symptoms – is typically 10-14 days but can be as long as 21 days.

The last reported case of measles in a Maine resident was in 2017 in an individual who had acquired it after traveling overseas. Maine CDC was also notified by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on April 1, 2019 of a confirmed case of measles in a Massachusetts resident who had visited two businesses in Maine.

Recommendations for children and adults are as follows:

  • Children. All children should receive two doses of MMR. The first dose should be given at 12 through 15 months of age and the second at 4 through 6 years of age. Children who are 6 through 11 months of age who will be traveling internationally should receive 1 dose of MMR vaccine. Every effort should be made to identify and vaccinate children who are not up to date.
  • Adults. All adults should have acceptable proof of immunity to measles, which is defined as written documentation of adequate vaccination, laboratory evidence of immunity, birth before 1957, or laboratory confirmation of disease. For adults with no evidence of immunity to measles, 1 dose of MMR vaccine is recommended, unless the adult is in a high-risk group (e.g., international travelers, health care workers, and college students), in which case 2 doses of MMR vaccine are recommended. Women are advised to not receive any live virus vaccine during pregnancy, including MMR.

Why do Vaccinated Individuals get measles?

  • MMR vaccine is very effective at protecting people against measles and preventing complications. People who received two doses of MMR vaccine as children according to the U.S. vaccination schedule are usually considered protected for life and do not need a booster dose.
  • Some people who get two doses of MMR vaccine may still get measles if they are exposed to the virus. Experts aren't sure why; it could be that their immune systems didn't respond as well as they should have to the vaccine or their immune system's ability to fight the infection decreased over time. However, disease symptoms are generally milder in vaccinated people and they are less likely to spread measles.

Measles is an immediately notifiable disease in Maine. Health providers should report all suspect cases of measles by phone to 1-800-821-5821.

For More Information: