Person with measles may have infected others at Hampton Beach on July 9

Monitor staff
Monday, July 17, 2017

People who visited Hampton Beach on the afternoon of Sunday, July 9, may have been exposed to the measles.

The New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services said Monday that a person who was at Hampton Beach from about noon to 6 p.m. that day “was subsequently found to be infected with the measles virus” and is considered contagious.

While no cases of measles have been identified as having been caused by exposure, public health officials said people who were at the beach at that time should “monitor themselves for symptoms.”

Symptoms of measles infection usually begin with high fever, cough, runny nose and conjunctivitis several days prior to development of a body rash. Anyone who feels sick should call a health care provider before going directly to a health care facility.

The infectious individual spent almost all of his or her time in the open air, and New Hampshire has a high vaccination rate in school-aged children, officials said.

“Measles is a very contagious disease because it can be transmitted through the air. However, we do not anticipate a large outbreak because of the high vaccination rate of people in the state,” said Dr. Benjamin Chan, state epidemiologist. “This situation is a good reminder for people to check their own vaccination status to make sure they are protected against future infection.”

Measles is caused by a virus passed from person to person through the air when someone with the disease sneezes, coughs or talks. It is very easy for individuals who have not received the measles vaccine to contract it from someone else. The incubation period for measles from the time of exposure is typically 10 to 14 days, but can be as long as 21 days.

For more information about the measles exposure at Hampton Beach, visit www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/immunization/documents/hampton-beach-measles-faq.pdf.