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BREAKING: Additional Measles Cases Confirmed on Maui and Kauaʻi

October 30, 2014, 11:15 AM HST · Updated October 30, 11:26 AM
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Additional measles cases confirmed on Maui & Kauaʻi. Background image: Histopathology of measles pneumonia. Giant cell with intracytoplasmic inclusions. CDC image / Dr. Edwin P. Ewing, Jr.

Additional measles cases confirmed on Maui & Kauaʻi. Background image: Histopathology of measles pneumonia.
Giant cell with intracytoplasmic inclusions. CDC image / Dr. Edwin P. Ewing, Jr.

By Maui Now Staff

The state Department of Health has confirmed four additional cases of measles on Maui and Kauaʻi, bringing the total number of confirmed measles cases in these two separate clusters in Hawaiʻi to seven, and the total reported cases for the year to nine.

“We are very concerned,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Y. Park in a department press release this morning.

“These additional cases are an example of how contagious this disease is and how quickly it can spread.  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,” said Dr. Park.

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State health officials say measles is so contagious that it will infect 90% of the contacts who are not immune. The best way to prevent measles, health officials advise, 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 in a statement. “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 state Department of Health says the symptoms of measles generally begin about 14 days (range 7 to 21 days) after a person is infected and may include the following: blotchy red rash; fever; cough; runny nose; red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis); and feeling run down, achy (malaise).

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Another characteristic symptom is Koplik’s spots, which are not always present, but appear as tiny white spots with bluish-white centers found inside the mouth.

Individuals who suspect they have measles should call their doctor right away and isolate themselves from others to help contain the spread of illness, health officials said.

***For a list of pharmacies vaccinating adults, visit the following LINK.

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