From the beginning of the year to May 6, 11 people from 4 states were reported to have measles. Seven of those cases are from Tennessee’s largest county, Shelby County.

MMR vaccine/TDH
MMR vaccine/TDH

California, Georgia and Texas are the other states to report measles this year.

The Tennessee Department of Health posted on their Facebook page today:

A seventh case has been confirmed in the Shelby County measles outbreak. The Shelby County Health Department, supported by staff members from the Tennessee Department of Health, continue work to prevent the spread of measles.

Measles is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable viral infection that starts with a high fever, runny nose, cough and red eyes, followed a few days later by a rash that starts on the head and gradually moves down the body. The rash illness lasts about a week. It is usually a relatively mild illness but can result in complications, including pneumonia or inflammation of the brain, that require hospitalization.

People who contract the measles virus can spread the infection for four days before developing a rash and for four days after the rash starts. Measles can spread easily through the air to people who are not vaccinated or who have not had measles illness before.

In 2015, 189 people from 24 states and the District of Columbia were reported to have measles. In 2014, the United States experienced a record number of measles cases, with 667 cases from 27 states reported to CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD); this is the greatest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000.

The majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated.