Health Department Still Investigating 30 Cases to Determine Whether Those Patients Have Measles

This baby was hospitalized with the measles in the Philippines. (Source: CDC)

The Alabama Department of Public Health is working on 30 open investigations into possible measles cases, but the state still had only one presumptive positive measles case as of Friday.

A St. Clair County infant has the only presumptive positive case in the state, meaning she has tested positive for measles, but more testing is being done to verify the diagnosis.

Her mother, Audrey Peine, told WBRC that 5-month-old Emma is doing better but has not yet fully recovered.

Emma is not old enough to have had the measles vaccine, does not go to a day care and has not traveled out of state.

Dr. Scott Harris, state health officer, had hoped to have an update Friday on the continuing investigation into where Emma had been to help people determine whether they might have been exposed to the virus. But a press release from the health department late Friday said there was no update on the St. Clair case yet.

Although the health department has other open cases, that does not mean those people have measles. The department investigated 174 cases of potential measles infections between the first of the year and May 1, according to an earlier press release. Of those, only 30 cases have not been resolved.

The department in today’s update did clarify recommendations for whether adults should get the vaccine.

One dose of the vaccine is sufficient for most adults born in or after 1957, according to the release. They also do not need a vaccine if lab tests have detected immunity to measles.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend an adult catch-up program for people born before 1989 or a vaccine program for people who do not live in areas affected by measles.

The department acknowledges that some people are more prone to catching and spreading the virus and should make sure they’ve had both doses of the vaccine. Those include college students, health care workers and international travelers.

The department still recommends children get vaccinated at 12 months and 4 years of age.