By REGGIE ROSS
For decades measles has been virtually extinct in the United States, but recently all states, including Mississippi, have reasons to be concerned.
The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is investigating measles exposure in Hattiesburg from an out-of-state traveler. Earlier this month, a Tennessee resident, diagnosed with measles, traveled through the state while infectious. This individual was not vaccinated against measles.
Measles is a highly contagious disease whose complications can be serious, especially for children. Vaccination provides excellent protection.
If you do not know your vaccination status, check with your doctor, pediatrician or a county health department for your vaccination records.
Measles is a serious respiratory disease of the lungs and breathing tubes that starts with a high fever, followed soon after by a cough, runny nose, and red eyes.
On the third to seventh day of the illness, a rash of tiny, red spots will appear. The rash starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. Symptoms usually appear about eleven days after exposure with a range of seven to twenty-one days.
Mississippians who may have been exposed and who have not been vaccinated against measles need to take immediate precautions.