Test results rule out measles case in Durham, health officials say

Test results have ruled out measles for a person whose illness was being tracked in Durham County, officials said Tuesday.

The Durham County Department of Public Health received the results Tuesday from N.C. Division of Public Health. The tests conducted by the national reference laboratory eliminated measles as the cause of the person’s illness, according to a news release.

Measles is highly contagious, especially in communities with a high proportion of unvaccinated persons.

Durham County Medical Director Arlene Seña had said a preliminary test returned a positive result for measles and that follow-up testing was done to make a definitive diagnosis. The preliminary test is sensitive to the disease as well as to the antibodies present in a person vaccinated for measles, she explained.

Health officials identified a coffee shop and a preschool where they said people might have been exposed to a possible case of measles last week. Patrons of both businesses were notified “out of an abundance of caution,” officials said in a news release.

There is no ongoing risk for the public who visited or want to visit the the shop, Bean Traders, or The Goddard School now or in the future, Seña said.

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Joe Johnson is a reporter covering breaking stories for The News & Observer. He most recently covered towns in western Wake County and Chatham County. Before that, he covered high school sports for The Herald-Sun.