Measles Re-emerge on Kenai Peninsula After Four Years
The Alaskan DHSS (Department of Health and Social Security) has confirmed that a teenager on the Kenai Peninsula has measles. It was traced that the teen traveled from Seattle, Washington to Arizona and returned to Alaska ten days later. He came back displaying all the symptoms of the illness. The boy was not vaccinated against the disease.
The ASVL (Alaska State Virology Laboratory) ran the test, the results of which came back positive. This was announced on July 16t, at 5:30 p.m.
The DHSS stated that the last case of measles to be confirmed in Alaska was back in 2015, in the city of Fairbanks. The state was case-free for practically four years, and now, they’re on alert on Kenai.
The patient is presumed to have contracted measles out of the state because it can take anywhere between one and three weeks for symptoms to develop. The virus had most likely been incubating in the young man, and he got full-blown symptoms once he arrived home.
The “suspect” is the extremely busy Seattle airport, but so is Arizona. Cases have been reported in the state of Arizona this year, and there is an ongoing outbreak in Washington.
The CDCP (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) claims that the number of measles cases could rise in Alaska, as it is a most infectious disease. Once the symptoms have developed, anyone who comes in close proximity to or in contact with the infected person could be potentially at risk.
The symptoms include a fever, runny nose, coughing, headaches, sore throat, red eyes and an all-over rash. The rash normally starts on the face and, over time, spreads down the body. Less common symptoms are diarrhea, ear infection, and even pneumonia.
Measles is an airborne virus that is highly infectious. The vaccine was created in the 1950s and has been readily available in the USA since the 1970s. Alaska, however, is one of the states with the lowest rate of measles vaccination in the country.
Those who have had the vaccine or who’ve already had measles as children needn’t be concerned. You can’t contract it twice if you’ve had it, and it’s statistically next to impossible if you’re immunized. It’s really the non-vaccinated citizens who should be vigilant.
If you believe you’ve spotted the symptoms, the DHSS advises you to contact your doctor immediately.
It has been reported that the teenager was around people in public locations between July 8 and 14 in Soldotna. You can go on the DHSS site for a list of the exact locations the patient was spotted at. Every business the patient visited has been informed of this, and these places include Froso’s Family Dining and anyone who was in the Central Peninsula Hospital at the time.
The DHSS has stated that the patient is currently recovering at home.
The last confirmed case of measles in Alaska was back in 2015, and around the year 2,000 before that.