Idaho Has First Confirmed Measles Case Since 2001
(KLIX) – Public health officials said Wednesday that a case of measles has been confirmed in northern Idaho, the first confirmed measles case in the Gem State since 2001.
The person was contagious while in the waiting area of Gritman Medical Center, Laboratory and Imaging at about 11 a.m. on May 31, Idaho North Central District said in a news release.
It said the measles virus can remain in the air for up to two hours after an infected individual leaves the area. Anyone who was at this location at the same time could have been exposed to measles.
The health district said it is collaborating with Gritman Medical Center and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to respond.
Measles is a preventable disease, health officials said, noting that the best way to prevent an outbreak is to get vaccinated. They said individuals who are ill and think they may have measles should stay at home and contact their healthcare provider.
South Central Public Health District (SCPHD) in Twin Falls responded to the measles concern.
“Given the recent increase of measles cases across the nation, and now here in Idaho, the best way to protect against becoming infected is by getting immunized," epidemiologist Tanis Maxwell said on Wednesday.
She said the vaccine to treat measles, mumps and rubella, known as MMR, is highly effective, safe, and readily available.
"If you don’t have the MMR vaccine, get it now,” she said. “Don’t wait. It can take a few weeks for the antibodies to form. The sooner you get vaccinated the more protected our community is against an outbreak.”