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Department of Health and Human Services News


Person with Measles Visited New Hampshire - 04-29-15

The  New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) is investigating after an
international   traveler,  who  was  visiting  Massachusetts  and  recently
traveled  to  New Hampshire, was subsequently found to be infected with the
measles virus. The only known public exposure site in New Hampshire was the
Flatbread  Company restaurant in Portsmouth on April 20th between the hours
of approximately 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM. There are no cases identified related
to  this  situation,  and  New  Hampshire is well protected from widespread
measles  transmission  due  to  a  high vaccination rate in our school-aged
children,  including  a more than 96% measles vaccination rate in preschool
children.

However, DHHS is encouraging people who were at the exposure site
during  those hours to monitor themselves for symptoms. Symptoms of measles
infection   usually   begin   with  high  fever,  cough,  runny  nose,  and
conjunctivitis  several  days  prior to development of a body rash. Anybody
who  feels sick should call their healthcare provider before going directly
to a healthcare facility.

“We  are  still  in  the  early  stages  of  investigating,  but  we do not
anticipate  a large outbreak because of the high vaccination rate of people
in  the  State,”  said  Dr. Benjamin Chan, State Epidemiologist. “But it is
possible  there  could  be cases in New Hampshire related to travel by this
individual.  It  is  a  good time for people to check their own vaccination
status if they were born in or after 1957.”

NH  DHHS  recommends  that  all people review their vaccination status with
their  healthcare providers to ensure adequate immunity to measles. DHHS is
asking  anybody  who was at the restaurant during the above time frame, who
was  born  in 1957 or after, and who has not been adequately vaccinated for
measles  or  found to have evidence of measles immunity to contact the DHHS
Division  of  Public  Health  Services  at 603-271-4496 to discuss risks of
infection and transmission of the virus.

Measles  is  caused by a virus that is passed from person to person through
the air when someone with the disease sneezes, coughs, or talks. It is very
easy  for individuals who have not received the measles vaccine to contract
it from someone else. The measles virus can remain in the air for up to two
hours  after  an infected person visits and leaves and area. The above time
frame  for  exposure  at  the  Portsmouth restaurant includes this two-hour
window  after  the  infectious  person  left the restaurant. The incubation
period  for  measles  from the time of exposure is typically 10 to 14 days,
but can be as long as 21 days.

For  more  information  about measles prevention, download the DHHS Measles
Fact   Sheet   at   http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/documents/measles.pdf,
visit      the      DHHS      Immunization      Program      webpage     at
www.dhhs.nh.gov/immunization/index.htm,  and  visit the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html.

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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