The Latest on Measles Outbreak – over 700 Cases in 22 States Reported

  Reports of measles cases continue to grow around the
United States, with over 700 individual cases now reported in 22 states. While
no cases have been reported in Wisconsin yet, health officials continue to
stress the seriousness of the disease and the need to get vaccinated. Fond du
Lac County Public Health Officer Kim Mueller says symptoms can be very broad –
beginning with a fever, runny nose, cough and red eyes, but it evolves into
much more than that. “Then it’s followed by a rash, that usually starts up in
the hairline and then spreads over the entire body,” Mueller said. “It can
cause very serious complications, including death, and that’s why we push this
so much. It’s a very preventable disease with just getting the vaccination.”

The disease stays in the air for up to two hours after an
infected person has been in the room, and is highly contagious. “Who else was
in that airspace after? If you can imagine how quickly those contacts would
build up, and how many people would need to be quarantined so we can observe if
they have symptoms or not.” Mueller says the quarantine period lasts for up to
two weeks, which means a lot of time away from work or school. The MMR vaccine –
which is given to young children in two doses – provides full protection
against the disease. Mueller also encourages adults to stay up to date on their
vaccines, and to be sure they can verify they received the measles vaccine in
the event cases begin to surface in the area. 

Read the latest information on the Measles outbreak here