Franklin Countys First News

Maine CDC encourages vaccination as Measles cases increase nationally

AUGUSTA - The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention encourages Mainers to get vaccinated against measles as cases of the highly contagious illness continue to appear throughout the U.S.

From Jan. 1 to Feb. 28, 2019, 206 cases of measles were reported in 11 states, from Washington to Connecticut. Outbreaks, defined as three or more cases, have been reported in four of these states, and typically started with travelers who brought measles back after becoming infected while traveling overseas in areas where large measles outbreaks are occurring.

Measles is still common in many parts of the world, including countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. People who are not vaccinated can contract measles while traveling, then bring it back to the U.S. and infect others who are unvaccinated.

To date, no cases of measles have been reported in Maine this year. The last reported case in Maine was in 2017 in an individual who had acquired it after traveling overseas.

  • Measles is a highly contagious, potentially severe viral illness that begins with a fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes followed by a rash that usually starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. The rash usually appears about 14 days after a person is exposed. Measles can cause health complications including pneumonia and encephalitis, and lead to death.
  • Measles spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes. After an infected person leaves a location, the virus can live for up to 2 hours in the air or on surfaces where the infected person coughed or sneezed. Measles is so contagious that 90 percent of the people close to an infected individual who are not immune will become infected.
  • Infected individuals can spread measles from 4 days before through 4 days after the rash appears. The incubation period — the time it takes for symptoms to appear after contracting the virus — is typically 10-14 days, but can be as long as 21 days. During this time, a person with measles can spread the illness before they’ve learned of their infection.

“The best protection against measles is vaccination,” said Dr. Siiri Bennett, Maine State Epidemiologist. “Most people who get measles are unvaccinated. Immunization helps protect you, your family, and your community from this dangerous and largely preventable virus.”

The Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine provides long-lasting protection against all strains of measles and is scientifically proven to be safe and effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97 percent effective at preventing measles, and one dose is about 93 percent effective. The few fully vaccinated people who get measles are much more likely to have a milder illness and also less likely to spread the disease to other people, including those who can’t get vaccinated because they are too young or have weakened immune systems.

The MMR vaccine is readily available throughout the state. All Maine children up to 18 years of age, regardless of insurance status, are eligible to receive vaccine at no cost.

If you think you have been exposed to someone with measles, inform your doctor immediately.

Your doctor can determine if you are immune to measles based on your vaccination record, age, or laboratory testing. Adults who are not vaccinated or who have not had the disease should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine.

If you have symptoms, call your provider for instructions before arriving at the provider’s offices or a hospital or clinic. Precautions may be taken to protect other patients and medical office staff from the risk of infection.

If your symptoms are consistent with the disease, testing may be performed. Individuals without symptoms do not need to be tested.

If you are traveling outside of the U.S., make sure you are vaccinated against measles before you depart.

For more information on measles visit:

Maine CDC’s measles webpage:
U.S. CDC’s measles webpage:
Maine Immunization Program webpage:

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10 Responses »

  1. I remember having the measles, chicken pox, and the mumps. It would go around in the school for a while before moving on. In my youth it was a common occurrence without panic or scary stories about possible deaths.

  2. Just because they used to be called common childhood diseases, measles, mumps and chicken pox are not harmless and vaccination against them is very highly recommended. The very young and the elderly are very vulnerable, as are those with compromised immune systems (such as those undergoing chemotherapy or those with other auto-immune diseases).

    You can skip vaccination at your own peril: there's apparently no cure for these neglectful parents.


    Many have risked their lives to inoculate against POLIO. Disease can be defeated -

  3. Here is the link to the Oregon tetanus case story; earlier post was missing a character.

  4. .....Before being vaccinated...ask to read the Information Sheet that comes with every medication.....Therein you will find out the real risk ....Drug Stores and Doctors do not show you that information sheet....ask to see it......

  5. Medical providers giving vaccines through the VFC program, as most are, if the vaccine is being given to anyone under 19 , are required to offer the vaccine information sheets Most people decline it orl eave it in the bathroom.or do not read it Or cannot read it Every drugstore gives you information everytime. Jeez Let's have facts not emotion so peopl e can make decisions
    Here are the sources doctors use:

  6. To the "well everyone had it and lived when I was a kid" faction:

    Statistically, yes, children and adults that are well fed, healthy, living in a healthy hygienic environment- are at reduced risk for scary risks of common childhood illness like measles, mumps, whooping cough and chickenpox.

    However, the risks for scary risks INCREASE in babies, elderly, immune compromised adults or children (stuff like chemo, HIV, any circumstances where the immune system is suppressed either by disease or as part of a treatment protocol). Also children and adults living in compromised circumstances : poor nutrition/ high stress from variety environmental factors, such as : unhygenic, dangerous, family violence/drug use etc., lack of adequate heat/ warm clothing, neglect, etc.

    Franklin County was found to have 2nd highest rates of child abuse and neglect in the entire state - by the Le Page administration DHHS study. It also has some of the highest rates of food insecurity and children without adequate food resources, as well as warm clothing. Lack of secure food resources and secure/safe home situations presents significant "stress" to a childs immune system, increasing their risk of contracting disease and suffering worse consequences of these diseases because their little bodies are not being provided enough "fuel" to overcome the disease.

    If you are a healthy family in a healthy home, friends with only others like yourself, going to places only with others like are unlikely to every see the lives and living conditions of the most vulnerable in Franklin County. I like to point out, say what you will about adults in such circumstances, but the most vulnerable, children and elderly, have had no say and have no way out on their own...

    I know people who grew up in Franklin County during the days of (so called) "everyone got it and was fine". I know people here who have permanent disablement because they did develop the worst consequences of these childhood illnesses (often meningitis and encephalitis). They have permanent cognitive impairment from the irritation/inflammation/damage done to their CNS and brain. Back in "those days" people didn't say, "gee that kid had measles that turned into meningitis/encephalitis and now he/she is developmentally disabled". What people around here said about these individuals was they were "Feebleminded" "Not right" "Slow". People around here didn't know or care WHY! Also, it was considered "shameful" to be impaired that way, so these disabled family members were often kept out of sight.

    When you vaccinate you aren't just protecting yourself, your kid, you are building a wall of protection within the community that helps stop the disease ever getting a foothold with the most at risk, most vulnerable.

  7. Vaccines aren’t fool proof. had a doctor on this morning that discussed this in better detail. She also has a blog discussing it you can listen to the rewind on their website. Kids that are vaccinated can still get these illnesses this article talks about. Also the people that are freaking out about these diseases coming from China, they have a 99% vaccination rate. Please go listen to a dr.s opinion and READ the side affects of these vaccines before you just follow the crowd. Oh and feebleminded do you think the elderly wasn’t vaccinated back when they were young ?

  8. The true ignorance of the world is flat masses are truly showing in this debate. Get vaxed. Everyone on this forum is probably vaxed already. Drinking milk has risks to some as well. It is a statistical anomaly.

  9. I really don't get how people so easily lump the idea of one vaccine that almost completely eliminates a preventable community based illness with all vaccines available? There are too many baseless paranoid conspiracy posts that seems to use a common propaganda tactic of fear over tangible facts to trick you into thinking you are injecting poison. I mean, the medical industry is not always right and to each their own if you choose to get a flu vac or hep vac or any other option to prevent an illness but things like this letter is addressing, Measles makes sense to me. If you don't want it then say so at the Dr.'s office and then please make sure you take every precaution to avoid situations where you catch it or expose others to your lack of community health concerns. If you work with kids or old people or around a lot of people in general it is most likely in your best interest and theirs to be vaccinated for common preventable illnesses. Didn't a measles outbreak also happen a couple years ago at Disneyland? The way I see it is if you or a family member has a know detrimental reaction to vaccines then you most likely have an issue that requires more attention but that does not mean it is what everyone has. If you don't "believe" in vaccines because cases of known illness are rare then you are merely benefiting from the masses of vaccinated individuals who have done their part to prevent the spread of such illness. In the end to each their own but vaccination of preventable communicative diseases this is not about me, myself, and I. . . It's about my neighbors, my friends, my kids, my coworkers, and all the strangers I pass in the world not catching something nasty. But, to each their own in this stand off tough grit individualist dystopian fixed mindset. Nothing new to learn when you know everything from one voice, one source. Personally, I've have about every vac I can think of due to a compromised immune system and so far it's been beneficial although I still get every cold and bug that passes by due to the other issue.

  10. Don't get vaccinated but for those of you that are too young to remember
    Because of widespread vaccination, polio was eliminated from the Western Hemisphere in 1994. In 2016, it continues to circulate in just Afghanistan and Pakistan, with occasional spread to neighboring countries. Vigorous vaccination programs are being conducted to eliminate these last pockets. Polio vaccination is still recommended worldwide because of the risk of imported cases.