DHHS: N.H. Child Didn't Have Measles, Just Vaccine Reaction

May 23, 2019

New Hampshire State health officials say a case of measles identified in Keene last week was in fact a rare reaction to a measles vaccine.

Officials now say the child who suffered the reaction was never contagious.

State epidemiologist Ben Chan says the child had an unusually strong reaction to the measles or MMR vaccine which exposes the body to a weaker, non-contagious version of the measles virus.

 Update: The N.H. Department of Health and Human Services announced May 23, 2019 that the child identifed last week as a case of measles was actually a rare case of reaction to the measles vaccine. Latest story on this case here.

(The story below as originally published on May 19.)


Public health officials say a child has been diagnosed with measles in New Hampshire and may have exposed others to infection at three locations in Keene last week.

The Department of Health and Human Services said the child was in the nursery at the United Church of Christ on Sunday, May 12, and at a coffee hour gathering at the church. 

Dr. Partha Sarathi Sahana/Flickr

Vaccination safeguards both personal and community health. But a recent outbreak of the measles in Washington state is revealing the necessity for high vaccination rates. Every state allows medical exemptions and many allow religious exemptions. But Washington state, along with about 20 other states, allows for a philosophical exemption for families who disagree with the mandate to vaccinate.

New Hampshire allows no such exemption — and the Granite State boasts one of the highest vaccination rates nationally. But the number of religious exemptions is on the rise. On the verge of a Hepatitis A outbreak in the state, we talk to medical providers about vaccines in early childhood and what risks unvaccinated youth pose to the greater community. 


Health officials are warning the public about potential exposure to measles at a New Hampshire beach.

According to state officials, an individual who had measles travelled from out of state to visit Hampton Beach July 9. The individual spent time on the beach and at several outdoor locations.

Health officials say those who are vaccinated should not be concerned. However, they do say beachgoers should monitor for any symptoms.