Measles Case in Fairbanks Confirmed

Measles rash. Image-Wikipedia
Measles rash. Image-Wikipedia

On June 9, a measles case was confirmed in Fairbanks. Alaska health officials believe there is potential for wider community exposure, putting non-immune persons at risk for infection.

An adult with recent travel to central Asia developed a rash several days after arriving in Fairbanks, Alaska on May 31. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for measles RNA virus was positive. Non-immune persons who were in close proximity to the infected person may be at risk of developing measles. This person might have been infectious while in several locations in Fairbanks, May 31 through June 7; see press release for specific locations and dates (available on the Section of Epidemiology Measles webpage at: https://www.epi.alaska.gov/id/measles/default.htm)

Federal officials will be contacting persons who may have been exposed on airlines outside of Alaska. The patient was on a flight to Fairbanks that originated in Seattle and did not transit in Anchorage.

Measles is a highly infectious viral respiratory disease that spreads via the airborne route and through direct contact with respiratory secretions. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat, and is followed by a rash that typically starts on the face and descends to involve the trunk and limbs. About 30% of people who get measles will develop one or more complications including pneumonia, ear infections, or diarrhea. More serious complications, including death, can occur. Complications are more common in adults and young children.

During the incubation period, Symptoms typically start to appear 8 to 12 after exposure. The measles rash usually appears in approximately 14 days after exposure. Measles are infectious approximately four days before the rash until approximately four days after the rash appears.

See also  Senate Passes Balanced Capital Budget Based on Size and Scope of Finance Co-Chairs’ Agreement

To be tested for measles, contact 907-269-8000 during business hours or 800-478-0084 after hours.

Adults or parents should call ahead before visiing a clinic if you believe you have contracted measles to avoid exposing others in the clinic or hospital waiting area. Aldults, or the parents of children with measles should avoid exposing other people during the infectious period.

Healthcare providers should report suspected measles cases immediately by calling the State of Alaska, Section of Epidemiology at (907) 269-8000 or (800) 478-0084 after hours, and suspected cases should be immediately isolated.