Doctors have confirmed a second case of measles in Iowa in the first outbreak in the state since the early 1990’s. State health officials say a person from Iowa City who was a passenger on an airplane with the first infected person has now been confirmed as having measles. Karen Fred is director of public health and Grinnell Regional Medical Center and she says even adults should be sure their immunizations are up-to-date. You’re susceptible if you were born after 1957, have never had measles or haven’t had two doses of vaccine. If new cases are confirmed, she says treatment should start right away because the so-called “childhood disease” is nothing to take lightly. She says it can be serious illness and cause brain inflammation, deafness and pneumonia, and two or three out of one-thousand victims may die. The doctor says prevention’s critical as the germ spreads through the air and there’s no specific treatment once you catch it. Symptoms include coughing, a rash, a runny nose and often bloodshot eyes, and a test can produce lab results that will rule out of confirm measles within 24-to-48 hours. Once you get it, care and treatment are based on whichever symptoms you have. She wants to get out the message that all Iowans should stay current on their immunizations, even for diseases that aren’t routinely seen in the U.S., like measles. She says anyone with the symptoms of measles should get care from their local doctor. At least one person in Grinnell is under observation while doctors determine if they have another case of measles.
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