Dartmouth Health responds to Upper Valley measles exposures

Graphic that reads "Media Statement: DHMC's Response to Upper Valley Measles Exposures"

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has identified a measles-positive patient, who was not vaccinated against the virus. The patient was seen at Dartmouth Health’s Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center’s (DHMC) emergency department on July 6 and 7.

DHHS is in the process of conducting community-exposed contact tracing. All DHMC staff who had exposure to the patient while providing care have been contacted, and all have documented immunity.

Measles is a highly contagious virus primarily transmitted through coughing and sneezing. Symptoms of measles are rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, red, watery eyes, and a distinctive red-brown rash. Masking when any of these symptoms are present can help limit the spread of measles. Some people who become sick with measles also get an ear infection, diarrhea, or a serious lung infection, such as pneumonia. People who are exposed may develop symptoms of infection up to 21 days after exposure, typically 10-14 days after exposure. Although severe cases are rare, measles can cause swelling of the brain and even death. Measles can be especially severe in infants and in people who are malnourished or who have weakened immune systems (such as from HIV infection or cancer or from certain drugs or therapies).

Anyone exhibiting the symptoms listed above and/or who thinks they may have been exposed to measles can call Dartmouth Health’s hotline at 603-650-1818.

About Dartmouth Health

Dartmouth Health, New Hampshire's only academic health system and the state's largest private employer, serves patients across northern New England. Dartmouth Health provides access to more than 2,000 providers in almost every area of medicine, delivering care at its flagship hospital, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH, as well as across its wide network of hospitals, clinics and care facilities. DHMC is consistently named the #1 hospital in New Hampshire by U.S. News & World Report, and recognized for high performance in numerous clinical specialties and procedures. Dartmouth Health includes Dartmouth Cancer Center, one of only 56 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation, and the only such center in northern New England; Dartmouth Health Children’s, which includes Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, the state’s only children’s hospital, and multiple clinic locations around the region; member hospitals in Lebanon, Keene and New London, NH, and Bennington and Windsor, VT; Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and more than 24 clinics that provide ambulatory services across New Hampshire and Vermont. Through its historical partnership with Dartmouth and the Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth Health trains nearly 400 medical residents and fellows annually, and performs cutting-edge research and clinical trials recognized across the globe with Geisel and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT. Dartmouth Health and its more than 13,000 employees are deeply committed to serving the healthcare needs of everyone in our communities, and to providing each of our patients with exceptional, personal care.