Update: Health department says two NC patients tested negative for measles

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Update Feb. 9 — The Cleveland County Health Department said the two patients tested negative for measles.

CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. — North Carolina could be seeing its first case of measles since the outbreak that began in California. That state announced Friday that they had 103 confirmed cases that began in mid-December, most in Orange County which is home to Disneyland where the outbreak began, according to WTVD.

Since Jan. 1, there have been 110 confirmed cases in 16 states including the California and the District of Columbia, according to the CDC. North Carolina is not included in that number, yet. But that could change pending test results.

The Cleveland County Health Department has confirmed that two patients had symptoms consistent with the disease and are currently awaiting test results due early next week. Should those individuals test positive for the virus, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will have to take steps similar to what they did back in 2013. It’s a scenario Medical Epidemiologist Zach Moore, M.D. is not eager to repeat.

“The big year for measles for us was 2013 when we had a person who returned, an unvaccinated person who traveled to India and came back and developed measles in North Carolina. That person lived in a community where there were a lot of people who were not vaccinated, so we had a measles outbreak,” said Moore.

Read full story: WTVD