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Measles case linked to traveler confirmed in NH resident

A case of measles has been confirmed in a New Hampshire resident, and health officials said it was linked to an international traveler who visited the state in June.

The Department of Health and Human Services said the resident who tested positive for measles visited several locations in the state while infectious, potentially exposing others to the virus.

DHHS said the international traveler tested positive for measles after returning home from a visit to Hanover in late June. A confirmed case in Vermont has also been linked to the traveler, DHHS said.

Health officials said the New Hampshire resident had not been vaccinated for measles. Officials said other unvaccinated people, people with weakened immune systems and infants too young to be vaccinated who came into contact with the resident could be at risk of being infected.

Officials released locations and times where exposure to the resident might have occurred:

  • July 1, 1:30-3:30 p.m.: Peppermint Patty’s, 25 Road Round the Lake, Grantham
  • July 1, 5:30-11:30 p.m.: Sierra Trading Post, 200 S Main Street, West Lebanon
  • July 3, 9-11:30 a.m.: Dartmouth Co-op, 21 S Main Street, Hanover
  • July 5, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Dartmouth Co-op, 21 S Main Street, Hanover
  • July 5, 11:45 a.m.-6 p.m.: ClearChoiceMD Urgent Care waiting room, 410 Miracle Mile, Lebanon
  • July 6, 8-10:30 a.m.: ClearChoiceMD Urgent Care waiting room, 410 Miracle Mile, Lebanon
  • July 6, 9:30 a.m.-July 7, 1 a.m.: Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center Emergency Department, 1 Medical Center Drive, Lebanon

Anyone at those locations at those times who is unvaccinated, who never had measles before or who is unsure of their immunity status was asked to call the Division of Public Health Services at 603-271-4496 as soon as possible.

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Depending on the date of potential exposure, individuals who are not protected and susceptible to measles might benefit from preventative treatment, including vaccination or measles antibody injection, to lower their risk of developing measles, officials said.

People who are severely immunocompromised, even if previously vaccinated against measles, might benefit from preventative antibody treatment because vaccination might not be as effective for them. Officials said those people should contact their health care provider to see if treatment is recommended.

“Measles is a highly contagious but preventable disease,” said Dr. Benjamin Chan, the state epidemiologist. “The two-dose measles vaccine provides lifelong protection in most people, and it is the best protection against measles and complications of infection. Anybody who is not vaccinated is strongly encouraged to talk with their health care provider about completing the vaccine series.”

The last case of measles in New Hampshire was in 2019, health officials said.

Measles is passed from person to person through the air when someone with the infection sneezes, coughs or talks. The virus can remain infectious in the air for up to two hours after an infected person leaves the area. Measles can cause serious health complications, especially in children younger than 5 years old.

Symptoms of measles include high fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes several days before developing a body rash. To prevent the possibility of spreading the virus, health officials said anyone who develops such symptoms should call their health care provider before going directly to a health care facility.

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