Alabama health officials have confirmed the first case of measles in the state. The case involves an unvaccinated infant under age 1 in St. Clair County.
Dr. Scott Harris, ADPH medical officer, said the child has not been out of the state and was not in daycare. It’s believed the family followed medical advice to self-isolate after the diagnoses, Harris added.
The child was not old enough to have received the measles vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control recommends the first dose of the MMR vaccine – measles, mumps and rubella – be given at age 12 to 15 months of age with a second dose between ages 4 through 6.
Anyone born between 1956 is thought to be either immune to the measles or already has had the virus. People born in 1957 and after should have two doses of the vaccine to confirm immunity. If you are unable to confirm your vaccination history, Harris said the recommendation is to receive an additional dose.
The vaccine is widely available and inexpensive, most often covered through insurance. There is no shortage of the vaccine, Harris added, and no side effects.
More than 700 cases of measles have been reported nationwide, centered on outbreaks in New York and California. Alabama is now the 23 state to report a case of the measles.
The Alabama Department of Public Health will hold a noon press conference. The topic of the press conference has not been announced but it comes amid outbreaks of measles that has sickened more than 700 people in 22 states.
As of Wednesday, ADPH said it has conducted 174 investigations into measles reports with 32 cases remaining open. No cases have been confirmed in Alabama yet, but concerns over spread of the virus grew after it was reported an unvaccinated man from east Tennessee potentially spread the measles as he traveled to Mississippi and Alabama.
The Tennessee Department of Public Health has been in the process of contacting as many as 600 people in Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama who may have come in contact with the man. Five cases of the highly contagious virus have been reported in Tennessee. Cases have also been reported in Georgia.
The topic of today’s news conference has not been announced but in a statement Wednesday night, ADPH said it will hold a press briefing if a case is confirmed. ADPH has not responded to questions from AL.com on the topic of today’s conference.
The news conference begins at noon and live updates will be coming on AL.com.