North Dakota reports measles case; SD residents encouraged to check immunization status
SOUTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 13, 2011
CONTACT: Bonnie Jameson, (605) 773-3737
North Dakota reports measles case;
SD residents encouraged to check immunization status
PIERRE, S.D. – North Dakota today reported its first case of measles since 1987, an unvaccinated adult who traveled in South Dakota during his infectious period.
“We’re asking health providers to be on the alert for measles symptoms and we’re contacting individuals who had exposure to this case during his time in South Dakota,” said Bonnie Jameson, Disease Prevention Administrator for the Department of Health. “This is a good reminder of how important vaccination is and we would encourage South Dakotans to make sure they and their children are up to date on their immunizations, including measles.”
Measles is a highly contagious virus transmitted from one person to another by direct contact or airborne by droplet spread. Symptoms include rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation and fever. It can lead to ear infection, pneumonia, seizures, brain damage and death. A serious illness, measles 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.
South Dakota reported its last case of measles in 1997.
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.