HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii State Department of Health is working to prevent the spread of measles, after a confirmed case of an unvaccinated Oahu resident who recently returned from international travel.
Health officials have not released the age of the resident.
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They have been able to identify those with known exposure to the case and are asking healthcare providers to be on alert for possible cases.
Measles is preventable with vaccines, but officials said vaccination rates slipped around the time of the covid pandemic.
A majority of our children in the schools get the vaccine, the rates right now are above 90%. In our school settings for kindergarteners entering school, we did have a little bit of a dip on the 2019 — 2020. Year, a little bit below 90%. But then that increased from it was 89.7%, then it increased to 92.9%, the year after, and then 94.3%, the year after that.”Ron Balajadia, DOH Immunization Branch Chief
The state doesn’t monitor measles vaccination rates in adults.
Measles is a contagious virus that spreads through the air.
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Symptoms start with fever, then cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash with small red spots on the head that spread to the rest of the body. It can be deadly to children.