Half of US States Now Report Measles Cases

Troy Brown, RN
May 23, 2019

With Maine reporting its first measles case, half of the United States has now been hit with the highly contagious infection, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The case was reported in a vaccinated school-aged child who had no serious complications and has recovered completely from the infection.

"Maine CDC is working with the family and clinicians to identify exposed contacts and to assess contacts for evidence of immunity," the center said in a news release on May 20.

"Maine clinicians are asked to encourage vaccination and increase surveillance for rash illness suggestive of measles to identify early potential cases and prevent the spread of disease in Maine."

Possible Exposure at Dallas Airport

In Texas, an infected individual traveled through Dallas Fort Worth International Airport on a connecting flight, possibly exposing others to measles on May 15, according to a report from Dallas News.

Individuals may have been exposed in the following areas of the airport:

  • Terminal D customs area from 5:15 PM to 7:45 PM
  • The SkyLink tram between terminals from 5:45 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Terminal A in the area of Gate 6 to Gate 8 from 6:00 PM to 10:50 PM

It is unclear which flights the individual traveled on.

Tarrant County, Texas, where Fort Worth is located, is 12th on a list of 25 US counties with a high risk for large measles epidemics, according to a study published online first May 9 in The Lancet. Sahotra Sarkar, PhD, departments of philosophy and integrative biology, University of Texas, Austin, and colleagues say Tarrant County has a relative risk (RR) of 0.048; Harris (# 9; RR, 0.087) and Travis (# 22; RR, 0.013) counties in Texas also made the list.

As of May 17, 880 confirmed cases have been reported in the United States by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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SOURCE: Medscape, May 23, 2019.

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