As with previous cases, the individual was unvaccinated and a member of the same extended family group. The time periods and locations where other community members may have been exposed to the case are the Avera Queen of Peace Hospital waiting room from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Jan. 7 and the Casey’s General Store on 1st and Main from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 10. The department is working directly with the individual’s workplace to identify any contacts.
Another measles case has been reported in Mitchell and the Department of Health is warning residents to make sure their immunizations are up to date and to watch for rash and other symptoms.
This latest case brings the total number of cases in the outbreak to 13, with nine Mitchell area residents and four out-of-state residents.
“Please make sure your immunizations are up to date. If you were potentially exposed to this case and become ill, don’t just assume it’s flu, it could be measles,” said Dr. Lon Kightlinger, state epidemiologist for the department. “Call ahead to your doctor and tell them you may have been exposed to measles.”
Measles is a highly contagious airborne viral disease transmitted from one person to another by direct contact or droplet spread. It is a serious illness that causes permanent brain damage in one in every 1,000 patients and is fatal in three out of every 1,000 patients.
The best protection against the disease is the measles vaccine (MMR). For full protection, two doses of the vaccine are recommended, the first at 12 months of age and a second dose by age four. Two doses of the MMR vaccine are required for students entering schools in South Dakota. MMR vaccination is also required for children entering child care and for college entry.
If you need to be vaccinated contact your usual health care provider or check the list of childhood vaccine providers on the department’s website, http://doh.sd.gov/local-offices/. Learn more about measles at http://doh.sd.gov/diseases/measles.aspx.