Measles outbreak spreads to Maine, cases now in half the country

Measles outbreak spreads to Maine, cases now in half the country
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The measles outbreak has now spread to half the country, as Maine became the 25th state to report a confirmed case of the disease.

According to the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the case was confirmed in a school-age child in Somerset County on Monday. It's the first confirmed measles case in the state since 2017.


The child was vaccinated, did not have any serious complications, and is fully recovered from the disease, the Maine CDC said.

Public health officials said they notified the facilities where potential exposure occurred, and are working with them to ensure potentially exposed individuals are made aware.

The Maine CDC said the state has one of the lowest vaccination rates for students entering kindergarten. The rate of parents opting out of required vaccinations for nonmedical reasons is more than three times the national average, which makes the state more susceptible to outbreaks of infectious disease.

The nationwide outbreak is the largest since measles was declared eliminated in 2000. As of May 17, there were 880 cases across 24 states.

The Maine Senate last week narrowly approved a bill that would eliminate all nonmedical exemptions to school-required vaccines. It previously passed the House, but still faces another procedural vote before heading to Gov. Janet Mills (D). Mills has indicated she would sign the measure.