The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) alerts the medical community of a laboratory-confirmed case of measles. The case is a 6 year old, fully vaccinated, child from Kent County. The child did not require hospitalization and did not suffer any complications due to illness. DPH worked closely with the child’s school while the child was appropriately isolated at home during the infectious period. The case had not traveled and had no known sick contacts. No secondary cases have been identified and the source of the illness is not know.
DPH has only confirmed a total of 5 cases since 1995 --- one each in years 1996, 1998, 2005, 2011 and 2012.
Measles, also called rubeola, is a highly communicable viral disease with prodromal fever, conjunctivitis, coryza, cough and small spots with white or bluish-white centers on an erythematous base on the buccal mucosa (Koplik spots). A characteristic red blotchy rash appears on the third to seventh day; the rash begins on the face and then becomes generalized lasting 4-7 days. Complications may result from viral replication or bacterial superinfection and include pneumonia, encephalitis, croup, otitis media and diarrhea.
Measles is considered a rapidly reportable disease in Delaware. Laboratories and healthcare providers are required to report any suspect case to DPH, Bureau of Epidemiology (1-888-295-5156 or 1-302-744-1033). An epidemiologist is available 24/7 to take your call.
Measles is transmitted airborne by droplet spread and direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected persons. Less commonly, it can be transmitted by articles freshly soiled with nose and throat secretions. Individuals are infectious from 1 day before the beginning of the prodromal period (usually about 4 days before rash onset) to 4 days after rash appearance. All persons who have not had the disease or been successfully immunized are susceptible.
A confirmed diagnosis of measles can only be accomplished with laboratory confirmation. The detection of measles-specific IgM antibody, present 3-4 days after rash onset, confirms the diagnosis. Measles IgM testing is available through many commercial laboratories. Further, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers serological testing as well as RT-PCR.
CDC/Measles Vaccination: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/measles/default.htm
CDC/Immunization Schedules: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/default.htm
DPH, Bureau of Epidemiology (24/7): 1-888-295-5156
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