KEENE, N.H. (CBS) – A child in New Hampshire who was initially diagnosed with the measles last week actually had a reaction to the vaccine and is not infected with the virus, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday.
The department released a statement Sunday warning the public that a child had been diagnosed with infectious measles and had been at three locations in Keene.
But further lab tests revealed that this was not an infection but rather a reaction to the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, which is made using a weakened version of the virus to build up a person’s immunity. About five-percent of people vaccinated develop a fever and rash reaction.
“Measles is very contagious so this new laboratory information indicating that the child’s symptoms are not from contagious measles is good news,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan. “This situation, however, serves as an important reminder that with measles circulating at unprecedented levels nationally, we all need to make sure we and our family members are protected and vaccinated against measles.”
“More serious or extensive reactions that resemble a real (i.e. wild-type) measles virus infection, as was seen in this child, are very rare,” DHHS said in a statement. “The scientific literature has found no confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission of the vaccine strain of the measles virus.”