Department of Health warns of rise in measles cases - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Department of Health warns of rise in measles cases

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With measles cases on the rise nationally, South Dakotans should make sure their immunizations are up to date, the Department of Health said.

“There have been more than 200 cases of measles nationally this year, including two in Minnesota,” Dr. Lon Kightlinger, state epidemiologist, said. “South Dakota hasn’t reported a case of measles since 1997, but we have had residents who were exposed to measles out-of-state. Up-to-date immunizations are the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease transmitted by direct contact or airborne droplets. It causes permanent brain damage for 1 in every 1,000 patients and is fatal for 2 out of every 1,000 patients.

While measles is typically considered a childhood disease, it can be contracted at any age. The best protection against the disease is the measles vaccine (MMR).

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