Measles in Alabama? CDC releases test results

The Centers for Disease Control [CDC] has released its findings after an infant in St. Clair County was suspected of having contracted the measles. According to a report from the Alabama Department of Public Health [ADPH], the initial results were originally reported to the ADPH on May 2, 2019. The results obtained on May 2 from a commercial laboratory were positive; however, the results received from the CDC today were negative. ADPH will continue to investigate all reports received through the formal process for notifiable disease. Measles is a notifiable disease with a reporting requirement of within 24 hours. The result of additional testing performed by the CDC was reported to the ADPH this afternoon and is being shared.

Out of an abundance of caution, with evidence of presumptive disease, a positive initial measles test was reported after determining that this was in the best interest of the public while awaiting additional testing. The important message remains that MMR vaccine, for those without immunity to measles, is the most effective measure a person can take.

As of May 8, 2019, a total of 252 reports have been investigated for measles in 2019. There are 82 open investigations and 170 closed investigations.

CDC and ADPH strongly encourage all residents to ensure they are up to date on all vaccines, especially measles vaccine, because measles is circulating in 23 states.

Vaccine recommendations for adult vaccine as follows:

  • One dose of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) for those born after 1957.
  • Certain adults are considered at high risk and need two doses of MMR, each dose separated by at least 28 days, unless they have other presumptive evidence of measles immunity, as listed above.
    – Students at post-high school educational institutions
    – Healthcare personnel
    – International travelers

At this time, the ADPH continues to recommend that infants and children be vaccinated at 12 months and 4 years of age.

From the time a person is exposed to measles, it can take 7-21 days for signs and symptoms to occur, with an average of 10-14 days. People are contagious from four days before the rash develops until four days afterward. Symptoms may include: fever, cough, running nose, red or watery eyes, mouth spots, and rash.

ADPH has information on the Immunization webpage, www.alabamapublichealth.gov/immunization. In addition, a consumer hotline has been established for calls during normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. excluding holidays. Please call (334) 206-5023. In addition, for up-to-date answers to your questions about measles, visit CDC’s Measles FAQ webpage.