In a follow up to the announcement Tuesday by the South Dakota Health Department of the first measles case in the state in nearly two decades, health officials reported diagnosing five additional cases, bringing the total to six. All the cases have been reported from Davison County.

measlesAccording to the local news source, The Daily Republic, Dr. Lon Kightlinger, epidemiologist for the S.D. Department of Health, said the five new cases were all people who had contact with the initial case.

The newly diagnosed cases include two teenagers and three adults who were unvaccinated. The names are being withheld due to privacy laws.

“They are in an extended family group that had gathered for the Christmas holiday,” Kightlinger said. “One of the cases is from out of state but spending the holiday in South Dakota.”

In addition, Kightlinger said some 50 people have been identified as exposed and the number is raising. “The list grows by the hour,” he said.

Concerning the source of the original case, Kightlinger says the investigation is ongoing.

Measles rash Image/CDC
Measles rash

Measles or rubeola, is an acute highly communicable viral disease that is characterized by Koplik spots in the cheek or tongue very early in the disease. A couple of days later a red blotchy rash appears first on the face, and then spreads, lasting 4-7 days. Other symptoms include fever, cough and red watery eyes. The patient may be contagious from four days prior to the rash appearance to four days after rash appearance.

The disease is more severe in infants and adults. Complications from measles which is reported in up to 20% of people infected include; seizurespneumonia, deafness and encephalitis. For more infectious disease news and informationvisit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

Vaccination is the best protection against measles.

Measles deaths up in 2013, poor progress in vaccinations: WHO