GOODING — The South Central Public Health District is investigating a group of nearly 50 people from Gooding who were exposed in April to the measles virus while traveling together in Seattle, but none are currently showing symptoms of the disease.
A team of nurses and epidemiologists examined all of the patients Thursday, the health district said in a statement. It will continue to monitor the group for symptoms until May 18 to ensure they haven’t contracted measles.
The health district is urging residents to check their immunization records to confirm they’re protected against the measles with two measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines, it said in a statement. “Unvaccinated individuals 1 year and older should receive a measles vaccination to protect themselves and those around them.”
“The best way to protect yourself and your family against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases is by immunization,” public health division administrator Cheryle Becker said in a statement. “By the time you start showing symptoms it is too late to vaccinate. That’s why we urge families to immunize before an outbreak hits their community.”
“Measles is an acute, highly contagious viral disease. A small number of cases are capable of quickly producing epidemics. It only takes one infected patient to start an outbreak.”
Symptoms of measles include a fever, runny nose, cough and eye discharge, followed by a fever and rash, according to the health district. If you’re showing symptoms or know you’ve been exposed to the disease, limit exposure to other people and call your health provider.
Children should receive their first dose of the measles vaccine between 12 and 15 months old, and another dose at 4-6 years of age.
For more information on measles, visit phd5.idaho.gov/Disease/MeaslesTraveler.html.