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The measles outbreak is spreading in Maine and is now in half of the country



The measles epidemic has now spread to half of the country and Maine has become the 25th state to report a confirmed case of the disease.

According to the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the case was confirmed Monday in Somerset County's school-age child. This is the first case of measles confirmed in the state since 2017.

The child has been vaccinated, has not had any serious complications and is completely cured of the disease, said the Maine CDC.

Public health officials said they informed institutions where potential exposure had occurred and worked with them to ensure that potentially exposed people are made aware.

The Maine CDC reported that the state had one of the lowest vaccination rates for kindergarten students. The rate of parental refusal to be vaccinated for non-medical reasons is more than three times higher than the national average, making the state more vulnerable to infectious disease outbreaks.

The nationwide epidemic is the largest since the reported measles elimination in 2000. On May 17, there were 880 cases in 24 states.

Last week, the Maine Senate narrowly approved a bill that would eliminate all non-medical exemptions from mandatory vaccines. It has already been passed by the House, but is still subject to a procedural vote before going to Governor Janet Mills (D). Mills said that she would sign the measure.


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