MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Public Health announced Thursday one confirmed case of measles in an infant under one year out of St. Clair county.
ADPH officials say the infant was contagious from April 23 through Wednesday and had not been out of the state. The epidemiology staff is working with the family and medical provider to determine when and where the infant was infected and if there could have been additional exposures.
No additional information about the case was released but ADPH officials hope to be able to give the public more details within the next 24 hours.
Wednesday, state health officials released an update saying the department had conducted 174 investigations and still had 32 open investigations with no confirmed cases of measles in Alabama this year. ADPH also said Wednesday it would issue a statewide news release and hold a news conference to inform the public if a measles case was confirmed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of confirmed cases of measles across the country this year rose above 700 last week. They also said this is the nation’s worst year for measles since 1994 and eight months still remain in 2019.
Last week, ADPH confirmed a person from Tennessee had likely exposed other people to measles during two stops in Alabama. At that time, there were no confirmed cases of measles in the state.
UAB doctors previously talked about the risks and what can happen if people aren’t properly vaccinated.
“It is a very infectious and effective virus. Once it gets started in a vulnerable population it will spread quickly,” said Dr. William Curry, Senior VP for Population Health at UAB.
For more information about measles, you can visit the Alabama Department of Public Health website.
ADPH also provided this information:
- If never vaccinated and born after 1956, persons are strongly encouraged to obtain an MMR (measles, mumps, rubella vaccine) from their physician, healthcare provider or pharmacy. ADPH vaccine efforts primarily focus on children under 19 years of age. Free MMR vaccine is only available for children participating in the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program and for persons who may qualify based upon local health department fee schedules.
- ADPH has a very limited supply of MMR vaccine for adults and urges those with insurance and other coverage such as Medicaid to be vaccinated at their pharmacy or provider.
- About 95 percent or more of unvaccinated people exposed to a single case of measles will contract the disease.
- For every single case of measles disease, 12-18 additional cases can be expected.
- The complication rate from measles is about 20-30 percent, especially in infants, children less than 5 years of age, and persons 20 years and older. Complications can range from ear infections and pneumonia to deadly encephalitis.
- For every 1,000 people with measles, one to two people will die.
- It is important to know the signs and symptoms of measles that occur before the rash. Patients develop fever, sometimes as high as 105 degrees, followed by cough, runny nose, and red eyes (conjunctivitis). Anywhere from 1-7 days after these symptoms begin, the rash develops. The rash starts on the face and spreads across the body. Patients may also have small white spots on the inside of the mouth on the cheek which may occur from 2 days before and up to 2 days after the rash.
- From the time that a person is exposed to measles, it can take 7-21 days for signs and symptoms to occur with an average of 10-14 days. People are contagious from four days before the rash develops until four days after.