The Alabama Department of Public Health received a notification of a possible measles infection today “in an infant in St. Clair County. Currently, this is the only presumptive measles case under investigation” in the state of Alabama.
The infant was believed to be contagious from April 23 thorugh May first, according to the ADPH. The state’s health agency has already “conducted 174 investigations, including 32 open investigations, but this is the first presumptive positive case” of measles in Alabama.
The ADPH is encouraging any adults with “insurance and other coverage such as Medicaid to be vaccinated” by their medical provider or at their pharmacy because the agency has a reportedly limited supply of vaccinations available for adults.
The department is also warning residents that “for every single case of measles disease, 12-18 additional cases can be expected. The complication rate from measles is about 20-30 percent, especially in infants, children less than 5 years of age, and persons 20 years and older.”
Some complications can include pneumonia or ear infections, as well as deadly encephalitis.
“Signs and symptoms of measles that occur before the rash are as follows: Patients develop fever, sometimes as high as 105 degrees, followed by cough, runny nose, and red eyes (conjunctivitis). Anywhere from 1-7 days after these symptoms begin, the rash develops. The rash starts on the face and spreads across the body. Patients may also have small white spots on the inside of the mouth on the cheek which may occur from 2 days before and up to 2 days after the rash,” according to the ADPH.
Symptoms can take up to three weeks to become visible, but the disease is contagious after the first four days from the time of infection.