AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s first measles case since 2017 has been recorded in a vaccinated school-age child from Somerset County who had no serious complications from the disease and has recovered, the state Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday afternoon.
The state agency said in a statement that it confirmed the case on Monday. It announced the case approximately seven hours after Waterville Pediatrics, a doctor’s office in that city, put out a statement on Facebook on Tuesday saying there had been a confirmed case in that area.
The Maine CDC’s statement said it was unclear where the child was exposed to measles. The CDC also said people may have been exposed if they were at Madison’s junior high or high schools at times between April 30 and May 3, at Waterville Pediatrics on the morning of May 2 or at the emergency room of Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan at times between May 4 and May 6.
It is rare for a vaccinated person to be affected by the measles virus. It is recommended that children get a first dose of the measles vaccine between the ages of 1 year and 15 months and a second dose between ages 4 and 6, according to the Mayo Clinic. After the first dose, 93 percent of children develop immunity and 97 percent have it after the second dose.
The last case of measles in Maine was confirmed just over two years ago in Franklin County and it was contracted by someone who had traveled overseas. That was the first case in 20 years in Maine, though 880 cases have been recorded nationally in 2019.
The share of Maine kindergartners vaccinated for measles dropped in this school year for the third straight year and rising opt-out rates have led to a push from the administration of Gov. Janet Mills and fellow Democrats in the Legislature to repeal nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine requirements. A bill to do that passed the House on Tuesday and awaits further action.