State Health officials are urging Mississippians who traveled to Memphis recently, to check a website list to see if they were exposed to measles. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.
Health officials in Shelby County, Tennessee have identified about ten locations where people infected with the measles may have exposed others. The list include churches and medical clinics. Officials have confirmed six cases since the outbreak began in April. The Mississippi Department of Health has already home quarantined four children who were not immunized. State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs says those who haven't been vaccinated are at risk.
"We have had some people we've checked for measles who've had rashes from other reasons and we have sent specimens to CDC for analysis. And if we have people we suspect have measles we'll have to quarantine them as well," said Dobbs.
Dobbs says Mississippians who traveled to the Memphis area recently, should check the Shelby County Health Department's Emergency Preparedness website, to see if they visited the locations listed. People can get sick up to 21 days after exposure. Mississippi doctors are on the look out for patients with symptoms, which include a rash, cough, watery eyes and runny nose. Dr. Jimmy Stewart with University of Mississippi Medical Center says it's highly contagious and spread by breathing droplets in the air.
"Now that's important to remember because let's say if a patient comes into your waiting area and they do turnout to have measles, everybody in that waiting area then has to be screened," said Stewart.
Measles can lead to serious complications and death. Dr. Thomas Dobbs is encouraging people who haven't gotten their shots to do so right away. The list of measles exposure sites in Shelby County is at: www.schdresponse.com. Click on "measles" at the top of the page. No cases have been confirmed in Mississippi.