Child in NH diagnosed with measles

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KEENE, NH (WMUR) A child in New Hampshire has been diagnosed with measles, and health officials are warning people who were at locations in Keene that the child visited.

MGN

"We wanted to make the public aware of a confirmed case of measles that we have identified in Cheshire County in a child," said Beth Daly of the state Department of Health and Human Services.

The source of the infection is still under investigation, state health officials announced Sunday.

The child was in the following locations on these dates:

• May 12: the nursery (from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and coffee hour (from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) at the United Church of Christ at 23 Central Square in Keene

• May 16: the infant/toddler room at the Keene Montessori School on 125 Railroad St. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• May 16: the walk-in clinic at Cheshire Medical Center at 149 Emerald St. in Keene from 1 to 5 p.m.

Anyone at those locations during those times should make sure their vaccinations are up to date, health officials said. Those who think they may have been exposed can call HHS at 603-271-9461.

"The person wasn't necessarily there for that long of time, but we have accounted for that window, so it's very transmissible," said Daly.

Daly said the child is recovering.

"Measles is a very contagious disease that can be spread through the air, but the vaccine for measles is very safe and effective. Anybody that believes they may have been exposed at one of the listed locations and is not vaccinated or immune should call the NH Division of Public Health Services," added Dr. Benjamin Chan, the state epidemiologist, in a statement.

At the United Church of Christ, members were informed of the case with an email and a notice from HHS taped to the entrance.

"You see these things happening across the country, and there's always sort of a feeling of, 'Well, it happens elsewhere,' and then to suddenly see it happening right here in our own church was a bit of an eye-opener," said Gary Barnes of Keene.

"Well, I'm mostly concerned for the two ends of the scale. The young children who get exposed and the elderly," said Jan Barnes of Keene.

"I grew up at a time when there's measles everywhere. I had measles as a youth. It was not a pleasant experience to go through. I had a rash on my body -- very uncomfortable, wasn't happy couldn't get out of bed," said Paul Hudgik of Keene.

This is the second case of measles identified in the state this year.

Measles is caused by a virus that is passed from person to person through the air when someone with the disease sneezes, coughs or talks, according to health officials. The virus can remain infectious in the air for up to two hours.