Tests are negative for all suspected cases of measles in Lincoln County, with only one case confirmed, the West Central District Health Department in North Platte said Thursday.Today, May 4, is the last day that symptoms might appear after exposure to the single case of measles in mid-April, the department said.
The measles can appear as long as 21 days after exposure, although it rarely takes that long.
The worst danger appears to be over, but the department is monitoring the situation.
“We are still encouraging medical providers to contact us, if you are having any patients with symptoms,” the department said.
The North Platte victim was treated on April 10-11. He was a vaccinated student at Madison Middle School. The health department said the source of his exposure is unknown. It was suspected to come from a case in Omaha during spring break, but no definitive link to that case was found.
On April 15, district and state health departments published five places in North Platte where the victim could have exposed others.
A few days later, three more possible cases were announced in Lincoln County. Lab tests turned out to be negative for measles.
Measles is extremely rare in Nebraska but highly contagious. It starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat, followed by a rash that spreads over the body.
Measles vaccine is effective about 97% of the time, but not in all cases, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control.