Oh. Joy. We have a confirmed case of measles in Maryland (in the Baltimore area and the Eastern shore) and the carrier went to lots of fun places like the grocery store and baseball stadium and a restaurant. Yay for measles in crowds! ::snort::
The health department notes that an open air stadium isn’t the worst possible place, which is true, but I still think there’s a lot of potential for transmission to folks sitting nearby. And anyone who sold the person a beer or hot dog. Or anyone who bought a beer or hot dog from the same counter within the next hour or so. Etc. and so on.
Measles is known to be highly infectious (if I’m reading correctly, about 90% of susceptible people exposed will get it) and it’s airborne. And the droplets survive for several hours on surfaces.
The good news, of course, is that Maryland has a high vaccination rate, so the vast majority of us are protected. The big concern is immunocompromised people (those with things like HIV, or taking steroids, or receiving chemotherapy) and children under 12-15 months who haven’t received the first dose of MMR vaccine yet.
Thankfully, the number of vaccinated folks who are still susceptible should be extremely small, as two doses of MMR have something like 99% success in creating immunity, according to the CDC.
I’ve been predicting that we’d get a case soon, because a measles map showed cases all around us. What a time to be right. ::sigh::
It’s possible we could be extremely lucky and this case could be isolated. Maybe no babies were at the restaurant or grocery store in the 2-4 hours afterward. But I’m betting we get at least 2 or 3 more cases here. Hopefully anybody who might have been exposed will watch carefully and get treated before it spreads any further.
To coin a phrase: We are not amused.
(H/t to Jill for the Baltimore Sun story and René for the DHMH release.)