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Unconfirmed measles case reported in Walworth County

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Gazette Staff and Associated Press
April 16, 2008
— An unconfirmed case of the measles has been reported in Walworth County, a health official said this morning.

The probable case is being tested, said Pat Grove of the Walworth County Health and Human Services. She would not release details on the age or location of the patient.


“The only advice I can give is for parents to check their child’s immunization record,” she said.


Two other suspected measles cases were reported Tuesday in Milwaukee and Racine counties, bringing the total this month to seven, the Milwaukee County Health Department said.


Officials with the Racine Unified School District said a fifth-grader at SC Johnson Elementary School has tested positive for the disease.


Four cases of the measles were confirmed earlier this month in the Milwaukee area. Three were children who attended the same daycare.


Until then, Wisconsin had seen no cases of measles since 2005.


Rock County Health Department officials continue to inform area clinics, health care facilities and schools about the outbreak as the area remains on a heightened awareness status, Nursing Director Karen Cain said.


“We’ve received a lot more phone calls from people concerned about whether their children are adequately protected against the measles,” she said. “But we haven’t seen an increase in actual vaccinations.”


The state also confirmed Tuesday a case of rubella in Waukesha County, she said.


County health department officials from across the state will gather on a conference call Thursday with state officials for a status update, she said.


MORE ABOUT MEASLES

Measles symptoms: Rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes, which last about a week.


Complications: Diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, encephalitis, seizures, and death. About 20 percent of reported measles cases experience one or more complications. These complications are more common among children under 5 and adults over 20 years old.


Transmission: Measles is by contact with an infected person through coughing and sneezing. The disease is highly contagious and can be transmitted from four days before the onset of the rash to four days after.


Vaccine: Measles vaccine can prevent this disease. The vaccine is a live, attenuated (weakened), combination vaccine that protects against the measles, mumps and rubella viruses. It was first licensed in the combined form in 1971 and contains the safest and most effective forms of each vaccine.


—Information from Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
IMMUNIZATION INFORMATION

To find out the location and times of Rock County immunization clinics or if you need to know the status of your child’s immunization, call the health department in Janesville at (608) 757-5440 or in Beloit at (608) 364-2010. For Walworth County information, contact the department of health & human services at (262) 741-3200.



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