Measles case confirmed in Idaho

Image of Gritman Medical Center in Moscow, Idaho (Google Earth)
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(KMVT/KSVT) - A measles case has been confirmed in northern Idaho.

The Idaho North Central Public Health District announced Wednesday that they have received confirmation of a measles case in a Latah County resident.

This is the first confirmed case in the Gem State since 2001.

The district is working with the Gritman Medical Center and Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to investigate the case.

The health district says people who visit Gritman Medical Center’s laboratory and imaging waiting area in Moscow on May 31 between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. could have been exposed to the virus.

The times are included when the person was at the location and two hours after.

The virus can remain in the air for up to two hours after someone infected leaves the area. So, if anyone was in that area during that time and date, they could have been exposed.

The public health district said they are notifying patients and their families who were in that immediate area at that time.

“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," said Tanis Maxwell, a South Central Public Health District epidemiologist. "The MMR vaccine is highly effective, safe and readily available. If you don’t have the MMR vaccine, get it now. 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.”

Measles symptoms include having a fever, cough, red, watery eyes followed by a rash.

They begin about seven to 21 days after exposure.

The disease is contagious from about four days before the rash occurs through four days after the rash disappears. It spreads through the air after a person infected coughs or sneezes.

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