The Delaware Division of Public Health Issues Notification About Potential Measles Exposure

by Pat Haley

DOVER, Del. (Jan. 8, 2024) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is reporting a potential measles exposure in a Delaware health care facility.

On January 5, 2024, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health identified a confirmed case of measles in an unvaccinated individual. While infectious, the individual sought care at a healthcare facility in Delaware on December 29, 2023.

In response to this exposure, DPH is acting to quickly identify and prevent the spread of disease. Officials are working to identify anyone who may have been exposed, checking their vaccination status, warning them about potential exposure and issuing quarantine and exclusion orders where necessary. DPH is also working to educate health care providers about measles symptoms and what to do if they see a potential case. DPH is strongly recommending that people who have not received both doses of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine do so.  If a Delaware resident is unsure of their vaccination status, they can visit the Delvax Public Portal and view their personal profile.  Individuals may also contact their primary health care provider for additional details or if they are unable to obtain their records on Delvax.

The MMR vaccine is proven safe and effective at preventing measles having been administered for over five decades.  Testing shows the vaccine to be 97% effective at preventing measles for those who have received two doses of the MMR vaccine and are not severely immunocompromised. Children should get their first dose of vaccine between 12 and 15 months of age and their second dose between 4 and 6 years of age. If you have not received both doses by age 6, you should get your first or second dose as soon as possible. Infants 6-11 months who are traveling internationally should get an early dose of MMR.  Vaccinations are available to both adults and children at many pharmacies, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), and providers throughout Delaware and also at public health clinics for the uninsured or underinsured.  Individuals should contact their preferred facility in advance to confirm supply and availability.

Measles is a highly contagious, acute viral illness that begins with early symptoms of fever, cough, coryza (runny nose) and conjunctivitis (pink eye), lasting two to four days prior to rash onset. The rash typically occurs three to five days after symptoms begin and usually appears on the face and spreads down the body. Measles can cause severe health complications, including pneumonia, brain inflammation and death. The virus is transmitted by direct contact with infectious droplets or by airborne spread when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes. Measles virus can remain infectious in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours after an infected person leaves an area. Infected people are contagious from four days before the rash starts through four days after rash development. The incubation period for measles from exposure to fever is usually about 10 days (range, 7-12 days), and from exposure to rash onset is usually about 14 days (range, 7-21 days).

For more information on measles, visit ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ on the DPH website: this document with ReadSpeaker docReader.

Leave your comments

Post comment as a guest

terms and conditions.