Iowa measles case considered emergency public health threat - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa measles case considered emergency public health threat

DES MOINES (KWWL) - A case of measles has been reported in a northwest Iowa child. This situation is being treated as an emergency public health threat. Measles spreads easily and can cause serious disease and death.

The Iowa Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) is working with local health officials to determine how the child was exposed to the disease, and who this child may have exposed to measles. Measles is presently occurring in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

"All Iowans should check their child's immunization records, as well as their own to make sure their measles vaccinations are up-to-date," said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. "To be fully vaccinated, an individual should have had two doses of the measles vaccine, or have had measles in the past." If you suspect you or your child may have measles, you should call your health care provider immediately. Do not go to the doctor's office, ER or a walk-in clinic until arrangements are made to be seen by your health care provider in a place and manner that will not potentially expose others to measles.

The symptoms of measles include fever, cough, red/pink eyes, runny nose and a rash. Anyone, regardless of age, who has not had measles or has not been adequately immunized, can get measles if exposed. Most cases occur in unimmunized preschoolers and young adults. Measles can be a serious illness, causing pneumonia, deafness, and brain inflammation. Two to three people out of 1,000 who get measles die from the disease. It is easily spread through the air and there is no treatment for the illness, so prevention is critical.

For more information about measles, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/idph_universalhelp/main.aspx?system=IdphEpiManual&context=Measles_factsheet.

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