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State health agency monitored exposure areas for 21 days and found no new cases
After 21 days, there have been no cases of measles found in people who may have been exposed to the disease last month in Moscow and it means the chance of an outbreak on the Palouse has diminished.
Mike Larson, a nurse with the Public Health-Idaho North Central District, said for the past three weeks the health agency has been monitoring people who were in the exposure areas in late May when two cases of measles were identified. Those areas were in Gritman Medical Center and Trinity Reformed Church.
Larson said even though there have been no new cases of measles, the agency is still on high alert and is concerned measles could still be in the area.
“We’re going to be ultra careful before we declare this is all over,” he said.
Larson said the Public Health-Idaho North Central District will monitor the community for two more 21-day periods to make sure there are no other additional cases of measles.
He said the two individuals that were infected are doing well.
The first measles case — the first in Idaho since 2001 — was reported June 5 and involved a child too young to be immunized. The second case involved a family member of the first child who was only partially immunized because of age.
Both individuals were exposed to measles while traveling internationally.
Gritman advises anyone who believes they or someone they know has measles to self-quarantine at home to prevent spreading the virus. They should not go to public spaces or interact with others, and should call a doctor or clinic to get instructions.
According to the public health district, symptoms of measles include fever, dry cough, runny nose, sore throat and red, watery eyes, followed by a rash. Symptoms begin seven to 21 days after exposure. The infectious period is four to five days after the rash starts.
Measles is preventable with vaccination.
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