At least one Afghan refugee that recently arrived at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin has been confirmed measles positive, according to a ABC News 19 report.
According to a Fort spokesperson, the person arrived at the fort on September 4 and later “presented with symptoms consistent with measles.” Tests confirmed the diagnosis on September 5.
The individual was placed into isolation upon confirmation. Contact tracing was done and those who had close contact with the person were then placed in quarantine. Anyone at risk was also given a “post-exposure” vaccination.
To date, no other people have been diagnosed with measles.
Measles is a highly contagious, sometimes serious disease caused by a virus. It manifests with high fever, rash (spots on the skin), cough and conjunctivitis. In certain cases it can present complications such as: pneumonia in 1 in 20 children, encephalitis in 1 in 1,000 children, 0.1% sclerosing panencephalitis, and 1 to 2 in 1,000 children who contract the disease could die.
The groups most at risk of severity are children under 5 years of age, immunocompromised people and the malnourished.
This disease is transmitted by direct contact between people and through the air. The virus can remain in the environment for up to 2 hours. The probability of infection is high, 90% in unvaccinated people. It is spread 4 days before the appearance of the rash and up to 4 days after.