EASTON/REDDING, Conn. -- A case of the measles has been reported in the Region 9 Schools serving Easton and Redding, according to a school district press release.
The child, who attended Redding Elementary School, had not been vaccinated. Although the child did not get measles at the school, the child did attend classes while infectious, the press release said.
"All necessary precautions have been initiated" in coordination with the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the federal Centers for Disease Control, according to the release.
"Because measles is a highly contagious disease, it can be spread quickly among unvaccinated people. However, the majority of people exposed to measles are not at risk of developing the disease since most people have either been vaccinated or have had measles in the past, before vaccination became routine," said the press release.
“The best single way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated,” said Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen.
In February two confirmed measles cases involving an adult and an infant occurred in Fairfield County. An adult case in New Haven County was confirmed in April. The cases do not appear to be linked.
The first immunization shot is usually given at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second shot at 4 to 6 years of age. One dose of measles vaccine protects about 95 percent of vaccine recipients, and a second dose increases protection to about 99 percent, according to the release.
Parents of children in the school and all other Connecticut residents are advised to check with their physicians if they are unsure whether they have been immunized. People who have had measles in the past or who have been vaccinated against measles are considered immune, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Symptoms of measles generally begin seven to 21 days after a person is exposed to an infected individual, according to the release. A typical case of measles begins with mild to moderate fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and sore throat.
"Measles is easily transmitted from person to person," the press release said. "People showing symptoms of measles who are not immune are advised to telephone their health care providers."
The letter sent to parents in Easton and Redding was signed by Dr. Lawrence Leibowitz, school medical adviser and Redding Director of Health as well as Bernard Josefsberg, superintendent of schools for Easton, Redding and Region 9.
Residents are asked to visit the CDC webpage on measles for more information.