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Maine has first confirmed case of measles in 20 years

Stock image of measles (UCSF School of Medicine/MGN)

AUGUSTA (AP/WGME) -- The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a confirmed case of measles in Franklin County that it says is related to travel.

The state says the Maine Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory confirmed the case. The last reported case of measles in the state was in 1997.

According to the CDC, measles is a highly contagious viral disease characterized by fever, rash, cough, runny nose, and red eyes.

Measles can cause severe health complications including pneumonia, encephalitis, and death.

According to the CDC, 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, according to the CDC.

State epidemiologist Siiri Bennett says the Maine CDC is working with clinicians to identify potentially exposed individuals.

The public may have been exposed to measles if they were at the following locations between June 15 and 19:

  • Narrow Gauge Cinema (Farmington, ME) Thursday June 15 4-9pm
  • Grantlee’s Tavern and Grill (Farmington, ME) Thursday June 15 7-11pm
  • Farmington Farmers Market (Farmington, ME) Saturday June 17 8am-2pm
  • The Kingfield Woodsman (Kingfield, ME) Sunday June 18 10am-2pm
  • Restaurant la Chocolaterie (Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada) Sunday June 18 12–4pm
  • Franklin Memorial Hospital Emergency Department Sunday June 18 8-10:30pm
  • Franklin Memorial Hospital Laboratory Monday June 19 12-2:30pm

Individuals who were potentially exposed should review their vaccine history and monitor for symptoms. Individuals with symptoms should contact their providers for instructions before arriving at the providers’ offices or hospitals.

Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease that can cause pneumonia and death.

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