Measles Returns to Utah
Salt Lake County Health Department (SLCoHD) today announced a case of measles in a local unvaccinated resident.
This is the first case of measles in Utah since 2017.
Utah joins Kentucky and Ohio in reporting recent measles cases.
The SLCHD stated in a press release on March 23, 2023, the public is at minimal risk of illness due to this case related to international travel.
The infected person's exposure is limited to healthcare settings and the person's family members.
Anyone vaccinated against measles is protected even if they may have been exposed. This means they do not need to take any action.
And contact tracers notified people who may have been exposed and advised unvaccinated contacts to get vaccinated immediately.
Receiving a measles vaccine after exposure can prevent illness if administered within 72 hours.
Furthermore, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says no specific antiviral treatment exists for the measles virus.
However, research indicates vitamin A deficiency is a recognized risk factor for severe measles infections. Therefore, at-risk children diagnosed with measles should receive two vitamin A supplements 24 hours apart.
"Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease," commented Dr. Angela Dunn, SLCoHD executive director.
"While over 90% of children in Utah schools and childcare facilities are adequately vaccinated, there are still people in our community who are not protected," continued Dr. Dunn.
"Being fully vaccinated against measles does more than just protect the person who receives the vaccination; it also protects their family and friends, including children who may be too young to be vaccinated, and it helps limit the spread of disease in the community."
Furthermore, the CDC recommends protecting international travelers with an MMR vaccine before visiting measles outbreak communities in countries such as India.
Various measles vaccines are available at most health clinics and community pharmacies in the U.S.