A case of the measles has been confirmed in Latah County, according to a press release today from Public Health – Idaho North Central District. It is the first confirmed measles case in the state since 2001, according to the release.

Public Health – Idaho North Central District is collaborating with Gritman Medical Center and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to respond. 

A patient came into Grtiman Medical Center on Friday and staff recognized the potential symptoms associated with measles, according to a Gritman news release.

Gritman staff isolated the individual in a negative pressure containment room to protect others from infection and immediately notified the public health department.

After the individual left the hospital, all areas of the hospital where the person was present were cleaned and disinfected.

Public Health - Idaho North Central District and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare have primary authority in responding to the situation.

Mike Larson, a nurse with the Public Health - Idaho North Central District, said the infected person will remain at home until they recover.

He said the person was exposed after traveling internationally, but fortunately was not infectious while they were flying.

"That's a giant headache we avoided," he said.

Gritman is advising those at the hospital for laboratory or diagnostic imaging services Friday between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to contact Public Health - Idaho North Central District  who have not been vaccinated for measles or have never had the disease.

Gritman advises anyone who believes they or someone they know have measles to self-quarantine at home to prevent spreading the virus. Do not go to public spaces or interact with others. Call a doctor or clinic to get instructions.

According to Public Health - Idaho North Central District, symptoms of measles include fever, cough, and red, watery eyes, followed by a rash. Symptoms begin 7 to 21 days after exposure. 

"The best way to avoid getting measles is to be vaccinated against it," Larson said.

He recommended people call their health care provider if they do not remember whether they have been vaccinated.

Larson said all of Gritman's staff are required to be vaccinated.

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