State seeks contacts of measles patient
The state Department of Health is contacting people who may have been in contact with an Aiea woman diagnosed with measles.
It's the second case confirmed measles case in Honolulu this year, according to a news release from the state Department of Health yesterday.
The woman traveled to Italy and the Netherlands before returning via San Francisco on Feb. 5.
The woman, Keiki Mora, talked to KITV on Friday, and the station contacted the Health Department. She was not identified in the news release.
The measles patient was highly contagious from Feb. 6 to 14, after her flight home, and was treated at Kapiolani Medical Center at Pali Momi last Sunday, the news release said.
The Department of Health is working with Pali Momi staff to inform people who might have been in contact with the infected person. The Health Department confirmed the measles case Friday.
The case is unrelated to an incident in which a 10-month old baby with measles flew aboard a Hawaiian Airlines flight from San Diego to Honolulu on Feb. 9.
Health officials attempted to contact the 240 passengers aboard that flight. The 10-month-old infant had been exposed to a confirmed case of measles at a medical clinic in San Diego late last month.
There were no confirmed illnesses in connection with the baby's infection, a Health Department spokeswoman said.
Measles is a contagious viral infection characterized by fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a rash. Patients are contagious from one to two days before symptoms appear to four days after the appearance of the rash. One to three people die out of every 1,000 reported cases in the county.
State epidemiologist Paul Effler said in the news release that measles are rare in the United States because of vaccination requirements, but is more common in other parts of the world.
"Since vaccination for measles begins between 12 and 15 months, we are particularly concerned about infants under the age of 15 months without vaccination who may have been exposed," he said.
Last year, there were two measles cases statewide, both imported. No cases were reported in 2006. In 2005, two cases were confirmed, one each in a resident and a visitor.