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No measles contacts made locally

Case reported in Des Moines

May 27, 2011
By ANDREW POTTER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

The case of measles reported in Des Moines has no known connection to affecting anyone in Marshall County, said Pat Thompson, public health nurse.

"There have been no contacts in Marshall County that I've been made aware of," Thompson said.

Symptoms of the measles include a high fever, a rash that lasts several days, red or watery eyes and small white spots inside the cheeks.

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Thompson said those who think they have the measles should avoid going to their doctor's office or the emergency room and stay at home. Measles is highly contagious and being out in public puts others at risk.

"We don't want them in the ER breathing on anybody," Thompson said.

Thompson said most people have had the measles vaccine but it is available by appointment by calling the public health office at 641-753-6353.

She recommends everyone get the measles vaccine, especially international travelers.

"They have to keep up with their immunizations," Thompson said.

She said the likelihood of a measles outbreak in the area or in the United States is very small due to the number of people who have been immunized for the illness.

She said if an outbreak were to happen locally public health has a bioterrorism plan in place, much like it had to use when the H1N1 flu virus hit the area a few years ago.

"We'd come together as a community and set up vaccination clinics and take care of people like we did in the past," Thompson said.

Speaking of the flu, Thompson said the illness was relatively mild this past season and she was pleased with the amount of people who got vaccinated.



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