Health officials warn of measles case at Hampton Beach

Health officials warn of measles case at Hampton Beach

Hampton Beach (Wikimedia Commons)

HAMPTON, N.H. — Health officials in New Hampshire say a person with measles was at Hampton Beach on Sunday, July 9.

According to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, the person was in the beach area from noon until 6 p.m., and visited several locations on Ocean Boulevard in addition to the actual beach.

So far, no related cases in the area have been identified, but health officials said they are monitoring the situation and warn anyone who may have been in the area that day to be on aware of the symptoms.

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"Measles is a very contagious disease because it can be transmitted through the air. However, we do not anticipate a large outbreak because of the high vaccination rate of people in the State," said Dr. Benjamin Chan, State Epidemiologist. "This situation is a good reminder for people to check their own vaccination status to make sure they are protected against future infection."

Symptoms of measles infection usually begin with high fever, cough, runny nose, and conjunctivitis several days prior to development of a body rash. Anybody who feels sick should call their healthcare provider before going directly to a healthcare facility.

NH DHHS recommends that all people review their vaccination status with their healthcare providers to ensure adequate immunity to measles. The measles vaccine (MMR vaccine) is very effective, and more than 99% of individuals who receive two doses of the vaccine develop immunity to measles.

Measles is caused by a virus that is passed from person to person through the air when someone with the disease sneezes, coughs, or talks. It is very easy for individuals who have not received the measles vaccine to contract it from someone else. The incubation period for measles from the time of exposure is typically 10 to 14 days, but can be as long as 21 days.