3 measle cases confirmed in Kansas

Measles Outbreaks

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) have confirmed three cases of measles in Johnson County. All those at risk for the disease are being contacted and the investigation is ongoing.

Measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. With the creation of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine, measles cases are rare in the United States; however, it still sickens approximately 20 million and kills 164,000 people worldwide each year.

“The best way to keep from getting the disease is by being vaccinated. Protect children by making sure they have the MMR vaccine when they are 12 to 15 months old, and again before they enter kindergarten,” said Robert Moser, M.D., KDHE Secretary and State Health Officer.

Measles is highly contagious and is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. The signs and symptoms of measles typically begin one to two weeks after someone is exposed to an infected person. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Blotchy rash on the skin, which spreads from the head to the trunk then to the lower extremities (Measles can be spread to others from four days before to four days after the rash appears.)
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Feeling run down, achy
  • Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers found inside the mouth (Koplik’s spots)

“If you have a fever, stay home except to see a healthcare provider. If you need to visit your healthcare provider, call ahead so appropriate measures can be taken to protect other patients and staff,” said Lougene Marsh, JCDHE Director.

People at high risk for severe illness and complications from measles include infants and children aged <5 years, adults aged >20 years, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.

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