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The Department of Public Health confirmed a case of measles in a child in Fairfield Country.

The Connecticut child who got the virus was not yet vaccinated against measles and acquired the infection while traveling internationally, according to DPH. 

Measles is a highly contagious disease that can spread quickly among unvaccinated people and is the reason Connecticut lawmakers are looking to get rid of the religious exemption to childhood vaccines for kids who want to attend public school. 

“The single best way to protect yourself and your children from measles is to be vaccinated,” DPH Acting Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford said. “While the COVID-19 pandemic has been happening, some children have fallen behind on their immunizations. This measles case is an important reminder that these vaccine-preventable diseases still pose a threat, and that we must protect children through on-time vaccination.”

One dose of measles vaccine is about 93% effective at preventing measles if exposed to the virus. Two doses are about 97% effective, according to medical experts.  

The Centers for Disease Control recommends all children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12- through 15-months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age.

Last year there were only 13 measles cases in the United States.

There were no measles cases reported in the U.S. this year as of March 5. It’s unclear if this is the first one in the United States.