Department Medical Director, Caitlin Pedati, says privacy laws prevent them from releasing detailed information — but they can give a few details. “This happened to an individual who was unvaccinated and who had reported recent travel to Israel. Which is important to know, because it is one of the places that we know has had ongoing transmission in addition to other countries like Madagascar and the Philippines,” Pedati says.
Doctor Pedati says they moved quickly to ensure this case doesn’t spread.”This individual has been cooperating with us in Public Health, and we’ve reached out to follow up with anybody who has been potentially exposed,” Pedati says.
This is the first case of measles in Iowa since 2011. Pedati says they are not concerned that this will turn into a larger outbreak. “There’s no broad risk to the general public,” she says, “but it is a good reminder to everyone to stay up-to-date on your vaccinations.”
She says measles can spread very quickly among those who have not been vaccinated, for example, Pedati says if there are ten unvaccinated people in a room who are exposed, nine of them will get sick with the measles. Measles vaccinations are given to kids who are between 12 and 15 months old. A second booster is given between ages of four to six years old and Pedati says the vaccine is 94 percent effective after the first round and 97 percent after the second.
She says the CDC recommended the second vaccination be given back in 1989. “And so if you are somebody who isn’t sure if you are up-to-date, you might want to talk to you healthcare provider to confirm that. And they can work with you to do that,” Pedati says. ” But there’s no additional recommendations, for example boosters or anything like that, outside the routine recommendations by the CDC.”
The Centers for Disease Control says nationwide from January 1st to April 11th, 2019, there have been 555 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 20 states. This is the second-greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since the disease was wiped out in 2000. Other states which have reported measles cases are:Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.