State health department confirms measles case in Indiana

(Photo: NBC News)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - State health officials confirm a new case of measles in northern Indiana.

They're working with local health officials in LaGrange and Steuben counties to identify anyone who may have been exposed to the infected patient to prevent it from spreading any further. They're also consulting with their counterparts in Michigan and Texas because there may be exposure in those states as well because of this same case.

Anyone who has visited these locations on the dates indicated may have been exposed:

  • Chuy’s Restaurant – 1512 Harvey Road, College Station, TX 77840
    • Friday, March 29
  • Cameron Memorial Community Hospital Urgent Care – 1381 N. Wayne St., Angola, IN 46703
    • 3:45 p.m. - 6:35 p.m. Saturday, March 30
  • Cameron Memorial Community Hospital Laboratory
    • 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. Saturday, March 30
  • Holy Angels Catholic Church – 402 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, MI 49091
    • Sunday, March 31
  • San Miguel Grocery – 211 Jacob St., Sturgis, MI 49091
    • Sunday, March 31
  • Walmart Supercenter – 1500 S. Centerville Road, Sturgis, MI 49091
    • Sunday, March 31

If you may have been exposed at one of those locations, watch for symptoms until April 21. Symptoms begin with fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, typically seven to 10 days after exposure but can sometimes happen as late as 21 days after exposure. Fever can get as high as 105 degrees. Two to four days after that, a rash will start on the face and upper neck before spreading down the back and torso then spreading to the arms, hands, legs and feet. After five days, the rash will fade in the same order it appeared.

Immunization is the best defense against measles, according to the Indiana State Health Department. Most people will have been immunized against measles as a child with the MMR (measles, mups and rubella) vaccine. You should check with your health care provider to make sure, or visit www.MyVaxIndiana.in.gov to access official immunization records as recorded in the Children and Hoosier Immunization Registry Program. You have to have a personal identification number (PIN) to use that database. You can get one from your health care provider.

You need two doses of the vaccine to be fully protected. That's why children in this country are routinely vaccinated at 12-15 months and again at 4-6 years before going to kindergarten.

From the start of the year through March 28, nearly 400 individual cases of measles have been confirmed across 15 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's the second most cases in the United States since it was first erradicated in 2000. Indiana had one confirmed measles case last year.

Measles is so highly contagious, a single case is considered an outbreak, according to the state health department. When an infected person's sneeze or cough droplets spray into the air or land on surfaces, they remain able to infect for up to two hours.

If you think you're experiencing symptoms, stay home and away from others. Call your doctor before going to the doctor's office.

You can learn more from the state health department or the CDC.