Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Kansas health officials are investigating a measles outbreak in Finney County.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, along with the Finney County Health Department, have confirmed six cases to date.
KDHE said the outbreak began in early January after two people living in the same household were diagnosed with the virus. Investigators said the patients recently traveled outside of the United States. But secondary cases are now appearing outside the initial family, officials said.
KDHE urges people who are ill or exhibiting measles-like symptoms to stay at home, unless they are seeking medical attention.
“In some cases, measles can result in secondary illnesses, such as bronchitis, pneumonia and encephalitis," said Robert Moser, M.D., KDHE Secretary and State Health Officer.
Measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. It causes fever, runny nose, tiredness, cough and a blotchy rash all over the body. Measles is spread through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing. It is so contagious that any person who is exposed to it and is not immune will probably get the disease. Measles can be spread to others from four days before to four days after the rash appears. An average incubation period lasts from 10 to 14 days.
Children receive two doses of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. The first dose is administered at 12 to 15 months, the second between 4 to 6-years-old. KDHE is not recommending any changes to the routine schedule at this time.
The KDHE EPI Hotline is available for those with questions about potential disease outbreaks at 877-427-7317.