The Iowa Department of Public Health says a third case of measles has been confirmed — an it’s officially an “outbreak.” State Epidemiologist Patricia Quinlisk says all three cases stem from an Iowan who returned to the state from a trip to India were he picked up the measles. The first person transmitted the disease to the other two. The state is not releasing their identities. Dr. Quinlisk says the third person visited the Ladies Dome at Maharishi University. She says later that evening the person was at the Best Western Hotel in Newton March 21st. The next day the person visited the Destination Imagination event at Grinnell College and then the Thai Deli in Fairfield on March 22nd. Quinlisk says people who were in those locations should make sure they’re fully immune against measles. Quinlisk says the symptoms of measles include: a cough, red eyes, runny nose and a rash. She says if you come down with a rash illness within the next two weeks you should notify the state health department, and then call your doctor. She says you should NOT immediately go to your healthcare provide as that could spread the measles to others. Quinlisk says they’ve contacted everyone they could on the airplane and want to be sure that anyone who may’ve come into contact with the infected people know about it. She says they’re being cautious and don’t think there’s a high risk for people at Destination Imagination of being exposed. She says a subgroup that was at high risk has been given treatment. She says they don’t think everyone was at risk, but just want people to know about it. Quinlisk says Grinnell College was on spring break at the time, so there was not a large group of students who could’ve been exposed. Quinlisk says there are some high-risk people who may be susceptible to measles.She says anyone born in 1957 or later who have not had natural measles or two or more doses of vaccine, should go to their healthcare provider or county health department to get the vaccine. Quinlisk says measles can be deadly. She says about two to three people out of one-thousand dying as a result. She says a lot of people get very ill. Quinlisk says some of the people already diagnosed with measles have been very ill. Quinlisk says it has been five or six years since the last case of measles in the state and says there hasn’t been a transmission of measles from one person to another in 1990’s. She says it can spread very easily. She says it’s probably the most communicable disease they deal with in Iowa. Quinlisk says there could still possibly be other cases that show up before the outbreak is considered over. She says we have to go two incubation periods to say the disease is fully gone. The incubation period is 21 days, so she says we have to go until May 8th before we can say the outbreak is over. Quinlisk says there’s plenty of measles vaccine available and that’s not a concern.
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