Tag: measles

Rural Counties’ Vaccination Rates Highlight Need for More Access to Care

Multiple times in the past four years, three rural Alabama counties — Perry, Pickens and Russell — have reported having students without immunization documents at more than four times the statewide rate.

Health providers say a main reason for that gap is a general lack of health care in sparsely populated areas. Those counties are short on health care providers, and county health departments are understaffed. A lack of knowledge about the need for vaccines also is a factor.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 764 cases of measles were confirmed this year across 23 states. According to the agency, that’s the highest number since 1994 — for a disease that was eradicated in the U.S. in 2000. Read more.

All Clear (For Now): More Testing Shows Baby Thought to Have Measles Did Not

The baby in St. Clair County believed to have had Alabama’s first case of measles has tested negative for the disease.

The Alabama Department of Public Health had reported that the baby had a presumptive positive measles case after initial tests run by a commercial lab returned a positive result.

But when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did a more detailed test, the baby was diagnosed as not having the disease, according to a press release issued by the state health department. Read more.

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

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.

Alabama Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris had hoped to have an update Friday on the St. Clair investigation, including where the infant had been, but a press release from the health department late Friday said there was no update yet. Read more.

St. Clair County Infant Has First Case of Measles in Alabama

Alabama has its first confirmed case of measles.

An infant in St. Clair County has been confirmed as having measles, Dr. Scott Harris, state health officer, said in a press conference this morning.

The infant is less than a year old and so was not old enough to be vaccinated.

Harris said the Alabama Department of Public Health is continuing to investigate and test to make sure the measles diagnosis is accurate and to define the risk of exposure for others. He said more information would be available in the next 24 hours to help people determine whether they might have been exposed and advise them on the next steps they should take. Read more.