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Health

Maine Has First Confirmed Case of Measles in 20 Years

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a confirmed travel-related case of measles in Franklin County in western Maine, the first case reported in Maine in two decades.

State epidemiologist Siiri Bennett said the person acquired the infection while overseas.

“This is how most measles enters the United States these days. Measles used to be incredibly common many decades ago, and it was with the advent of vaccine that the number of cases in the United States just plummeted,” she said. “We used to see almost 500 deaths a year due to measles, and that’s one of our concerns is that, while people tend to think of it as a mild illness, it can be quite severe. It can cause pneumonia, encephalitis, which is an infection of the brain, and it can also cause death.”

The public may have been exposed if they visited several locations in Farmington, Kingfield and Lac-Megantic, Quebec, between June 15 and June 19. A complete list is available on the CDC’s website or on its Facebook page.