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No more measles cases reported by state

After a case of measles was identified last month, state health officials notified the public to be on the look out for symptoms. But no new cases have surfaced, the officials said today.

The case was unusual. The last one in the state was in 2009. And officials at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene feared others were exposed to disease as the infected person traveled from place to place.

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And while the state may have dodged a bullet this time, officials want residents to stay alert and get vaccinated if they haven't been already -- most kids are given two sets of shots for measles as part of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

"With measles outbreaks in nearby states, this is hardly the moment to be complacent," said Frances Phillips, deputy secretary for public health services, in a statement. "Every Marylander should be up-to-date on measles vaccination."

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The state and local health departments investigated illnesses that could have been measles, including some among those who were potentially exposed. But none turned out to be measles after lab testing.

There have been cases in other states, however. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported a high number of cases this year in Utah, New York, Minnesota and Virginia.

Quick identification is needed to control the spread of the highly contagious viral illness, officials said. It's spread through coughing, sneezing and contact with nose, mouth and throat secretions from infected people.

Symptoms first appear as a fever of 101 degrees or more, runny nose, watery red eyes and a cough. Then on the third to seventh day, a rash appear on the face and moves down.

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