CDC warns of measles outbreak in 22 states, including Carolinas

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning of a measles outbreak in 22 states.

So far 107 people have become sickened by the illness in North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and the District of Colombia.

There have been three cases reported in Johnston County in North Carolina.

This is the first measles outbreak in North Carolina since 2013.

One case was recently reported in South Carolina, the first since 1997.

[South Carolina reports 1st measles case since 1997]

“I do think measles is something we should be thinking about, and the single best way to prevent is vaccination,” said Dr. Meg Sullivan, with the Mecklenburg Health Department.

There have not been any cases of measles in Mecklenburg County, but there have been four cases of the mumps.

The number of people sickened was counted through July 14. The case count is preliminary and is updated monthly, the CDC warns.

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The majority of those who contract measles are unvaccinated, according to the CDC.

In 2017, there were approximately 118 people who developed measles, and the highest number of patients was in 2014 with 667 cases.

Signs and symptoms of measles include:

  • High fever.
  • Cough.
  • Runny nose.
  • Red, watery eyes.
  • Small white spots inside the mouth two to three days after the first symptoms appear.
  • Rash, three to five days after the first symptoms appear, starting near the hairline and spreading down.

The fever and rash should fade after a few days, according to the CDC.

Measles are spread through coughing and sneezing. It can live for up to two hours after a person has coughed or sneezed.

Measles, according to the CDC, is so contagious that 90 percent of people who have come in contact with an infected person can become sick if not immune to the illness.

It can be spread for up to four days before the rash appears and four days after it is visible, the CDC reports.

The CDC recommends that children be vaccinated with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. Two doses are needed for full coverage -- one at between 12 and 15 months old, and a second round between 4 and 6 years old.

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