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Health officials confirm first Idaho measles case since 2001

June 6, 2019

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — The first case of measles in nearly two decades in Idaho has been confirmed, public health officials said.

The Idaho North Central District health department announced in statement Wednesday that a Latah County patient tested positive for the virus.

People who were in the Gritman Medical Center’s lab and imaging waiting area in Moscow might have been exposed to the virus from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. last Friday, the department said. Health officials are notifying these patients.

When hospital staff detected the measles symptoms, they immediately isolated the patient, hospital officials said in statement. The Moscow hospital also notified the health department.

“After the individual left Gritman, all areas of the hospital where they were present were thoroughly cleaned and completely disinfected,” hospital officials said.

People who think they might have measles should stay home and contact their health care provider, the department said. Symptoms of the highly contagious disease include fever, cough, rash and red and watery eyes. The symptoms can appear seven to 21 days after exposure, according to the department. The virus spreads through the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes.

“Measles is preventable and the way to prevent an outbreak is to ensure that all children and adults, who can be vaccinated, do get vaccinated,” the department said.

The last case of measles in the state was reported in 2001.

More than 980 cases of measles have been confirmed in 26 states this year, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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