NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Louisiana state health officials are investigating a confirmed case of measles in New Orleans.
According to the health department, the illness was confirmed through laboratory testing in a New Orleans resident who recently traveled out of the country.
This case is not related to a positive measles case reported earlier in April of this year, according to the report.
The health department said in both cases, the individuals were not vaccinated.
"It can take anywhere from 10 to 21 days after a person comes in contact with someone with measles for that person to develop symptoms. We are beyond 21 days since the last reported case so we are confident the two cases are not related," said Dr. Parham Jaberi, Assistant State Health Officer in an issued statement. "Additionally, based on our tracking we do not believe the two individuals with confirmed measles came in contact with each other."
Measles is a highly contagious viral illness that can spread rapidly amongst individuals who are unvaccinated. In extreme cases, the illness can lead to hospitalization and even death, according to the report.
The individual found to have measles is now under care in a New Orleans hospital.
The individual identified to have measles recently returned to New Orleans after traveling out of the country, according to the report.
The state Office of Public Health is working to identify and notify those who may have come into contact with this person and to implement measures to help prevent the spread of the virus.
The best protection and way to prevent measles is to have had two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, known as MMR.
Two doses are about 97 percent effective against measles. If you are unsure of your vaccination records, check with your primary-care provider. Even a single dose of MMR up to 72 hours after exposure to someone with measles can prevent it or greatly reduce symptoms.
MMR vaccine is available at Orleans and Jefferson Parish Health Units listed below. Please call 504-658-2540 to schedule an appointment.