Rare Measles Case Reported in Treasure Valley

How people can protect themselves from the disease
Posted at 8:38 PM, Sep 21, 2023

NAMPA, ID — Since a measles case was discovered last week in a man traveling through the Boise airport, Southwest District Health has been working hard to keep the disease from spreading. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says the man was un-vaccinated and exposed during international travel.

Ricky Bowman with Southwest District Health says that in Idaho it is very uncommon to see a measles case. There have been only three cases in Idaho in the past two decades.

In fact, the case rate has been going down. In the U.S. there were over 1,200 cases in 2019, which dropped to 121 cases in 2022, and now there are only 22 to date in 2023.

Measles causes a red, blotchy rash that leads to fever, and sore throat that spreads easily and can be serious and even fatal for small children.

Because of medical advances, Bowman says that the disease is manageable.

Wanting to know if people were concerned about a possible outbreak, I spoke with people in downtown Nampa. However, no one seemed too concerned about the report.

Bowman believes the best possible way to protect yourself from contracting measles is to make sure you prioritize getting the vaccine.

According to the Idaho Health and Welfare, the first dose of the vaccine is typically administered between 12 and 15 months of age, and again from 4 to 6 years of age.

Bowman said, "That has a 97 percent effective rate for preventing measles after two doses."

As for the man who was found to be infected we've learned he was hospitalized for a while but is now recovering at home.