JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The Mississippi Dept. of Health has concluded its investigation of potential exposure to measles from a Tennessee traveler to Mississippi between April 9th and 11th.
MSDH’s follow-up investigation did not identify any measles cases in Mississippi from exposure to this traveler.
“The incubation period for developing measles from exposure to this traveler has passed. Any potential measles exposure would have developed symptoms by now,” said MSDH State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. “We are grateful that, because of our strong immunization laws, Mississippians were protected from infection. More than 99 percent of Mississippi school-aged children have received a complete dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.”
Dobbs talked about how there are currently several active outbreaks of measles throughout the nation and in other countries, and measles is spreading rapidly in some areas due to unvaccinated groups.
“This could easily happen again, so it is important that all Mississippians make sure that they are up to date on their measles vaccinations to avoid future risks,” he said.
Measles is a serious respiratory disease of the lungs and breathing tubes that starts with a high fever, followed soon after by a cough, runny nose and red eyes. On the third to seventh day of illness, a rash of tiny, red spots appears. The rash starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. Symptoms usually appear about 11 days after exposure with a range of seven to 21 days.
According to MSDH, Measles spreads when a person infected with the measles virus breathes, coughs or sneezes. It is very contagious, with the virus lingering in a room where a person with measles has been for up to two hours. Measles can be serious. It can lead to pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and death. Young children are at higher risk for complications, especially those under 12 months old who are too young to receive the measles vaccination.
For more information on measles, click here.