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Measles cases in neighboring Minnesota reminder to check immunization status





SOUTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
FOR I
MMEDIATE RELEASE: March 24, 2011
CONTACT: Lon Kightlinger, (605) 773-3737                    
 
Measles cases in neighboring Minnesota reminder to check immunization status
PIERRE, S.D. – A report of 11 measles cases in neighboring Minnesota has state officials reminding South Dakota parents to make sure their kids are up to date on their immunizations.
South Dakota hasn’t reported a case of measles since 1997 but these cases next-door are a good reminder that the disease is still with us and vaccination is needed to prevent it,” said Dr. Lon Kightlinger, State Epdemiologist for the Department of Health.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease transmitted from one person to another by direct contact or airborne by droplet spread. It is a serious illness that causes permanent brain damage in 1 in every 1,000 patients and is fatal in 2 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 4. Two doses of the MMR vaccine are required for school entry in South Dakota.
Parents in need of vaccine for their children can contact their usual health care provider or check the list of childhood vaccine providers on the department’s website, doh.sd.gov/LocalOffices/Vaccine.aspx.
More information about measles is available on the department’s website at doh.sd.gov/DiseaseFacts/PDF/Measles.pdf  or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html.   
Increasing child immunization rates is a key objective of the department’s Health 2020 Initiative.
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 (KYT”-ling-ur)