Science and Tech


Maine reports first measles case since 2019

The Maine Department of Health said the child had received a dose of the measles vaccine prior to testing positive.
3D illustration showing structure of measles virus
Posted at 1:50 PM, May 09, 2023

Maine is alerting the public about a child who tested positive for measles who is believed to be infectious. 

The state's Department of Health and Human Services has identified four locations where the child may have exposed others between April 29 and May 3. 

One of the locations is an indoor play center at the Auburn Mall. Families who were at Family Time Dine and Play on April 29 between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. are urged to watch out for signs of measles. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes. 

The other three locations identified were medical facilities and a grocery store. 

Health officials said the child had received a dose of the measles vaccine prior to testing positive. 

"It is not possible to contract measles from the vaccine," a statement from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services says. 

This is reportedly Maine's first positive case of measles since 2019. 

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children get two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. The first dose should be given between 12 and 15 months of age. The vaccine schedule calls for the second dose to be administered when the child is between 4 and 6 years old.

"The MMR vaccine is very safe and effective," the CDC states. "Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93% effective."

The CDC notes that up to 4 million people were getting measles every year prior to the country implementing a vaccination program in 1963. Since then, the vaccine has led to a greater than 99% reduction in measles cases, the agency states. 

The COVID-19 shot is now part of a routine schedule of vaccines.

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