A New Hampshire child has been diagnosed with measles and public health officials have listed three locations where others may have been exposed to the infection.
Officials are unsure at this point where the child first became infected but are investigating, according to a statement issued Sunday by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
Officials say the child was present at three locations and are urging other attendees on those days to review their measles vaccination and immunity status. Officials listed the following locations and dates:
- The nursery (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and coffee hour (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) at the United Church of Christ at 23 Central Square in Keene on Sunday, May 12.
- The infant/toddler room at the Keen Montessori School at 125 Railroad St. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 16.
- The Walk-in Clinic at Cheshire Medical Center at 149 Emerald St. in Keene from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 16.
"Measles is a very contagious disease that can spread through the air, but the vaccine for measles is very safe and effective," said Dr. Benjamin Chan, state epidemiologist in the news release. "Vaccination within 72 hours of exposure can help prevent disease, but people may still benefit from vaccination even after this time period."
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Measles is caused by a virus that is passed from person-to-person through the air when someone with the disease sneezes, coughs or even talks. The virus can remain infectious in the air for up to two hours, even if the person has left the area. The typical incubation period for measles from the time of exposure is seven to 21 days, typically two weeks.
Measles symptoms include high fever, cough, runny nose, and conjunctivitis several days prior to developing a body rash.
Officials have set up a public inquiry phone line to ask questions. That line is available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week by calling 603-271-9461 or toll free 800-852-3345 Ext. 9461. Anyone who thinks they were exposed should call their healthcare provider before going directly to a healthcare facility, officials said.