tr?id=&ev=PageView&noscript=

Officials warn of possible measles exposure in NH

Officials warn of possible measles exposure in NH

Courtesy of CDC

By Katy Savage

July 8, 2024

Health officials have warned that an international visitor to Dartmouth College in Hanover in late June contracted measles shortly after returning home.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services said in a June 28 press release that there are currently no confirmed cases of the disease in the state, but they continue to monitor the area for outbreaks.

The department did not say where the traveler was from. Officials said the person visited the following locations while in the Granite State:

June 20-22: Dartmouth College campus, Hanover
June 20-22: The Hanover Inn, 2 E Wheelock St., Hanover
June 20, 3 p.m.: Hanover Scoops, 57 S Main St., Hanover
June 20-22: Lou’s Restaurant and Bakery, 30 S Main St., Hanover (one meal, unknown date and time)
June 22: Dartmouth Coach bus from Hanover to Boston Logan Airport (unknown time)

The department is encouraging anyone who is unvaccinated and spent time at those locations to monitor for symptoms of measles, which can include high fever, cough, runny nose, and watery eyes before developing a body rash. Symptoms typically appear 10 to 14 days after exposure.

Business owners in Hanover said they were contacted about the potential measles outbreak but weren’t instructed to take further action.

Kim Smith, the owner of Hanover Scoops, said she “was kind of shocked” to hear from the NH Department of Health.

“It’s nothing that we did,” she said. “I just made sure I sent the link to the article that was published to all my employees.”

Dartmouth College Chief Health and Wellness Officer Estevan Garcia sent an email to the Dartmouth community the morning of June 28. He said the person, who was here from June 16-22, has returned home for medical care.

“As of today, we do not know of anyone on campus who has been diagnosed with measles,” Garcia said in the email. “The highest potential risk of exposure to the visitor was between Thursday, June 20, and Saturday, June 22.”

Dartmouth students are required to have the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine unless they have a religious or medical exemption.

The outbreak comes after a March warning from Dartmouth Hospital and other health professionals that measles cases are rising worldwide.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported 941 measles cases in the WHO European Region in 2022. That number surged to over 42,000 cases by the end of December 2023.

“The recent rise in measles cases abroad is concerning,” Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinics Manchester pediatrician Jaisal K. Pragani said. “Measles vaccination rates have dropped across the world since the start of the pandemic and we are seeing the effects of that in some countries among the unvaccinated. To me, this uptick in cases underscores the importance of getting your children vaccinated no matter where you are.”

Measles is highly contagious but preventable.The health department is encouraging Granite Staters to review their vaccination status with their healthcare provider to ensure immunity. The MMR vaccine is safe, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It provides long-lasting protection against all strains of measles.

To prevent the possibility of spreading the virus, anyone who feels sick should call their healthcare provider before traveling to a healthcare facility.

To learn more about measles, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Author

  • Katy Savage

    Katy Savage is an award-winning reporter with more than 10 years of experience working in daily, weekly and digital news organizations as both an editor and reporter. Katy is a New England native and has a passion for telling stories about where she grew up.

CATEGORIES: LOCAL NEWS
Related Stories
Share This