Local doctor warns about contagiousness of measles | KOB 4

Local doctor warns about contagiousness of measles

Joy Wang
May 10, 2019 05:32 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The New Mexico Department of Health is investigating a possible case of measles in Sierra County.

The virus is highly contagious, especially for those who have not been vaccinated.

“What you've seen is immunization rates have gradually declined,” said Dr. Walter Dehority, who is an associate professor of pediatric infectious diseases at UNM. “We've seen a corresponding increase in the number of measles cases.”

New Mexico has not seen a case of measles since 2014. In that case, a child who had not been vaccinated yet caught the virus.

“We really start measles vaccine between 12-15 months of age,” Dr. Dehority said. “The first shot of the series, the second shot is normally obtained between about four, five 5 years of age, before you go into kindergarten.”

Dr. Dehority saw the virus spread quickly at a sporting event in Minneapolis during the ‘90s.

“Two unimmunized adults were sitting in the upper deck, underneath the jumbotron scoreboard’ Dr. Dehority explained. “A competitor on the field had measles. The two adults in the upper deck of the Metro Dome caught measles from the athlete on playing surface, in a dome, so that's how contagious this is.”

Once a person contracts measles, Dr. Dehority said there is no treatment.

“We have what is called supportive care, which is making sure that patients are hydrated,” Dr. Dehority said. “They get their fevers controlled but there is no cure for measles.


Joy Wang

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