Connect with us

Local News

First measles case confirmed in Indiana in five years



Indianapolis, Indiana – The first case of measles in the state in five years was verified by the Indiana Department of Health on Friday afternoon in Lake County.

Although the Indiana Department of Health maintains that there is no risk to the public, it is still looking into the matter with other public health experts. To preserve patient privacy, no additional information will be shared.

When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the extremely contagious respiratory virus known as measles spreads. Because the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination is widely available, cases are uncommon in the United States; however, foreign tourists and U.S. citizens may contract the disease.

As of Friday night, the Lake County individual sought care in Chicago while exhibiting contagious illness, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Dr. Lindsay Weaver, Indiana’s health commissioner, said in a release, “Measles is easily spread and can be serious, especially for young children. About 1 in 5 unvaccinated people in the United States who get measles is hospitalized, and 90% of unvaccinated people who are exposed to measles will become sick. This case is a good reminder that you are at risk if you haven’t been vaccinated.”
More than 93% of recipients of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine will become immune to the disease after just one dosage, and over 97% will be protected following a second treatment, according to the Indiana Department of Health. To receive full protection from the vaccine, two doses are required. It is assumed that people born before 1957 are resistant to the measles.

For those older than one year, three immunization clinics on Wednesday will provide the MMR vaccine for free. Northern Indiana is home to the clinics. The hours of each clinic are 3–7 p.m. Central time.

• Gary Health Department, 1145 W. Fifth Ave., Gary.
• East Chicago Health Department. 100 W. Chicago Ave., East Chicago.
• Jean Shepard Community Center. 3031 J. F. Mahoney Drive, Hammond.

Fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes are the first symptoms of measles, which typically appear one to two weeks after viral exposure but can appear up to 21 days later. The temperature rises, reaching up to 105 degrees at times. Two to three days following the onset of symptoms, little white spots may show up inside the mouth.

A rash on the face and hairline appears two to four days after the symptoms first appear. It spreads to the arms, hands, legs, and feet as well as down the back and trunk. The rash disappears in the same order that it first developed after roughly five days.

Before visiting a doctor, stay at home and give your healthcare provider a call as soon as you suspect you have measles. If you have measles, stay at home and avoid contact with others, especially pregnant women, people with immune system-compromising conditions, and unvaccinated newborns.

For additional information regarding measles and the MMR vaccine, go to the websites of the Indiana Department of Health and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.