Community update: Measles reported in Maine, May 21, 2019

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (MeCDC) reported the first case of measles in Maine on May 21, 2019. The index patient did not visit any University of Maine System locations. However, we must all remain diligent regarding this public health concern.

This case involved a school-aged child from Somerset County. The child was vaccinated, did not have any serious complications, and is fully recovered from the disease. MeCDC is working with the family and clinicians to identify any people who may have been in contact with the child and to assess anyone potentially exposed for evidence of immunity.

UMaine continues to monitor the MeCDC health alerts.

Measles symptoms typically include:

  • Fever (may spike to more than 104°F)
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes
  • A characteristic red blotchy rash appears on face on third to the seventh day and becomes generalized, spreading from the head to the trunk to the lower extremities. Patients are considered contagious from four days before to four days after the rash appears. Of note: sometimes immunocompromised patients do not develop the rash and can remain contagious for longer periods.
  • Small spots with white or bluish-white center on an erythematous base on the buccal mucosa (Koplik spots)


Measles is a highly contagious viral disease is and transmitted from person to person by direct contact with respiratory droplets or airborne spread when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. The measles virus can remain infectious in the air for hours.

Additional information concerning the measles virus is online.