MSDH: Measles traveled from Tennessee through Mississippi earlier this month

Measles potential exposure

(JACKSON, MS) - A contagious case of measles traveled from Tennessee through the state of Mississippi between April 9 and April 11.

Multiple Mississippians could have been exposed.

“Resulting in multiple exposures in Mississippi residents, including healthcare workers," per the department of health’s press release.

So far, the areas in question are a Subway restaurant inside a Circle K in Hattiesburg on April 9 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. The patient also went to a Raising Canes in Hattiesburg on April 10 from 10:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.

He also has been to Meridian, MS.

The health department is actively investigating in the areas and have notified people that the individual may have come into contact with.

Dr. Thomas Dobbs with the department of health says measles is a respiratory illness that causes rashes and fever and is very contagious.

“It’s spread through the air and people can contract the disease just by being in the same location. 90 percent of people more or less will contract measles if they are not immunized.”

The health department says this is an extremely contagious disease that is spread by an infected person through coughing, sneezing and breathing around individuals.

If you think you have been exposed, contact a physician. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and rash.

Based on their press release the health department also warns people who were potentially exposed to measles that there is an “incubation period.” In the incubation period, cases may “present in Mississippi between now and May 2, 2019.”

If people have not been vaccinated for the disease and fear that they may have been around individuals with it, to take the precautions and get vaccinated.

“Please contact your physician and make sure that you’re adequately covered with your immunization schedule. If you do become ill please contact your physician and let them know you may have been exposed to measles. Because it’s so contagious, we don’t want people walking into an emergency room or walking into a crowded clinic, and then spread the disease unknowingly,” said Dobbs.

The measles vaccine is very effective. One dose of measles vaccine is about 93% effective at preventing measles if exposed to the virus. Two doses are about 97% effective.

The department of health says luckily the states laws helped in cases such as this one.

“The good news is that most Mississippians are protected against measles because of our strong immunization laws for school entry,” said Dr. Dobbs. “More than 99 percent of Mississippi school-aged children have received a complete dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. If you received both doses of the MMR series of vaccinations as a child, you are protected.”

The department of health says so far they have not identified any cases in Mississippi.

For more information you can visit the MSDH website.

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