Atlanta measles patient released from hospital

FOX 5 News has confirmed a baby boy being treated for measles in Atlanta has been released from the hospital.

This was Georgia's first case of measles in three years.

The child reportedly contracted the virus in Central Asia and was receiving treatment at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.

"We confirmed a case of measles in an infant that arrived here in Georgia from overseas on Thursday," said state epidemiologist Dr. Cherie Drenzek.

The infant, who is not yet one and considered too young to be vaccinated against measles, traveled from the country of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia, where health officials say measles is widespread, to Atlanta. 

Friday, the child's parents brought their baby to Children's E-D, where staffers - noticing the baby's symptoms and travel history - placed the child in an airborne isolation room. Then on Saturday morning , Georgia State epidemiologist Dr. Cherie Drenzek, says the infant tested positive for measles.

"This is a pretty common pattern we've been in the US for the past few years, again seeing these imported cases of measles and the danger here in the U.S. is to ensure that, again, it doesn't spread any further," said Dr. Drensek.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta says it's working to track down patients, family members and staff who might have come in contact with the sick infant at the hospital. The CDC says measles - an airborne virus - is so highly contagious, if a person has the virus, 90-percent of the people around him will also become infected, if they're not protected.

Doctors have reason to believe as many as 100 people may have come into contact with the baby boy.

"The good news and why it's such a rapid investigation is that we can offer a prevention to these individuals. We can offer them vaccine if they're eligible, or we can offer them a medicine called immunoglobulin within a period of six days of exposure. So that is one way to prevent secondary cases of measles and that has been our ongoing work over the past few days," said Dr. Dreznek.