CDC: Measles cases highest in nearly 20 years - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

CDC: Measles cases highest in nearly 20 years

Posted: Updated:

Outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases continue to pop up across the country.

There was a mumps outbreak in Ohio and Illinois earlier this year.

The CDC reported measles are at the highest levels in nearly 20 years.

Just last week Minnesota saw its first case of the year.

A doctor we spoke with said the measles virus is one of the most contagious of communicable diseases.

But it is not something doctors see too often, so when an outbreak occurs, they have to think outside the box.

The CDC said there have been more measles cases in the first four months of this year, than the first four months of the past 18 years.

"Increased global travel, lots of places in the rest of the world, measles is still endemic, lot of people have measles, lots of problems on the day to day and year to year basis," said Dr. Sam Schimelpfenig with Avera.

He explained symptoms are close to that of a cold, but with one give away, "The rash, which appears head to toe. Bright red spots, those are the most common symptoms. They can get a rash inside their mouth which is pretty characteristic for measles as well."

Dr. Sam added measles are incredibly contagious and easy to pass from person to person.

"You're actually contagious before your symptoms even start. So the usual incubation period is about 10 days on average from when you're exposed to when you would start to have symptoms," he said.

To protect yourself, you are recommended to be vaccinated when you're 1-year-old.

Then again before starting kindergarten.

"After the first vaccine it's about 95-98% protected against the measles virus and then we vaccinate again in kindergarten and by then you are greater than 99% protected," Dr. Sam said.

If you do get measles, Dr. Sam said you may be at risk for more than just the virus.

"Most of the complications we see are ear infections, pneumonia, about 1 out of 1000 there's a risk of the virus infecting the brain and causing long term brain damage, in about 1-3 out a 1000 there's the risk of death from measles," he explained.

Dr. Sam said he has never actually seen a measles case, because even during an outbreak, fortunately, the disease is rare.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KSFY. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service or our EEO Report.