Measles concerns in public places

Health

Moviegoers in California have been put on alert and a cruise ship is quarantined. The disease once eradicated in the U.S. is now appearing in public places.

“There’s a concern,” said Lynn Scalaro of Norwich. “I have grandchildren and I worry about them catching it.”

Scalaro’s grandkids are vaccinated, and doctors say that is the best protection against measles.

“Really, the recommendation is two doses: One at about one year of age, and then a second around the age of five,” said Dr. Robert Sidman, the Vice President of Medical Affairs for both the Backus and Windham hospitals.

He says the measles vaccination is 97 percent effective, and he’s not worried about the other three percent because if a vaccinated person gets the disease, it is mild.

“You may not even realize you got the measles, it’s such a mild form,” explained Dr. Sidman.

Still some are concerned about measles which are very contagious but not very common.

“Scary, yeah. Scary,” said Scalaro.

Related Content: More measles outbreaks across country, including movie theater and cruise ship

A person who comes down with measles is contagious four days before then and four days after that.

“If someone’s coughing all over the place, which you would be doing as one of the main features of having measles, just avoid that,” said Dr. Sidman.

Good advice for any airborne disease.  

“I don’t personally… Don’t have a great worry for anyone who has been immunized,” said Dr. Sidman. “For folks who haven’t been immunized, I do have some concern.”

For those who aren’t sure if they are vaccinated, a simple blood test will do.

“It’s called a titer,” explained Dr. Sidman. “Not unique to measles and just looking for the antibodies to show that you have antibodies against it.”

Last month, the state Department of Public Health confirmed a third case of the measles in Connecticut, which is connected to an outbreak in New York City, but not related to the two previous cases confirmed in January.

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