State confirms additional measles cases on Maui, Kauai - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

State confirms additional measles cases on Maui, Kauai

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaii State Department of Health on Thursday announced that four additional cases of measles had been discovered on Maui and Kauai, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Hawaii to seven.

Last week, officials said three cases of measles had been discovered on Maui and Kauai. The cases are not believed to have been related to each other, and all involved unvaccinated young adults who had recently traveled to the Philippines, Indonesia or Malaysia.

“We are very concerned. These additional cases are an example of how contagious this disease is and how quickly it can spread,” said Dr. Sarah Y. Park, state epidemiologist. “However, we also want to reassure the public that DOH staff continue to work closely with healthcare providers and facilities as well as CDC's Honolulu Quarantine Station to identify and notify all persons who may have been exposed, to make sure they have appropriate monitoring or treatment as needed.”

The best way to prevent measles is to get vaccinated. “We are asking everyone to check their immunization status and contact their healthcare provider if they need to be vaccinated,” said Ronald Balajadia, Immunization Branch chief. “Although not routinely recommended for children under 12 months of age, infants aged 6-11 months travelling internationally to areas with active measles transmission should be vaccinated. Talk to your child's doctor before you travel.”

The symptoms of measles generally begin about 14 days (range 7 to 21 days) after a person is infected and can include:

· Blotchy red rash

· Fever

· Cough

· Runny nose

· Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)

· Feeling run down, achy (malaise)

· Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers found inside the mouth (Koplik's spots—not always present).

For more information, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/home/imm/.

For a list of pharmacies vaccinating adults, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2013/07/IMM_Adult_Resource_List.pdf.

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