State health officials have confirmed a case of measles in northern Indiana. The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is working with local health departments and healthcare providers in LaGrange and Steuben counties to identify anyone who may have been exposed to the patient while infectious and to prevent further transmission of the disease.
ISDH is also consulting with public health officials in Michigan and Texas because the investigation has found risk of exposure in those states as well.
Individuals who visited these locations on the dates and times provided may have been exposed:
- Chuy’s Restaurant – 1512 Harvey Road, College Station, TX 77840
- Friday, March 29
- Cameron Memorial Community Hospital Urgent Care – 1381 N. Wayne St., Angola, IN 46703
- 3:45 p.m. - 6:35 p.m. Saturday, March 30
- Cameron Memorial Community Hospital Laboratory
- 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. Saturday, March 30
- Holy Angels Catholic Church – 402 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, MI 49091
- Sunday, March 31
- San Miguel Grocery – 211 Jacob St., Sturgis, MI 49091
- Sunday, March 31
- Walmart Supercenter – 1500 S. Centerville Road, Sturgis, MI 49091
- Sunday, March 31
Anyone who may have been exposed at those locations should watch for symptoms until April 21.
Immunization is the best defense against measles. Although most people will have been immunized against measles as a child, given the recent measles activity in several states and around the world, it’s important for everyone to be fully vaccinated. Anyone who is unsure about their vaccination history should check with their healthcare provider or visit www.MyVaxIndiana.in.gov to access official immunization records as recorded in the Children and Hoosier Immunization Registry Program (CHIRP). A personal identification number (PIN) is required. The PIN can be obtained from your healthcare provider upon request.
Background and Vaccine
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It is rare in the United States due to the widespread availability of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine; however, visitors from other countries or U.S. citizens traveling abroad can become infected before or during travel.
More than 93 percent of people who receive a single dose of MMR will develop immunity to measles, and more than 97 percent will be protected after receiving a second dose. Two doses of the vaccine are needed to be fully protected. Individuals are encouraged to check with their healthcare providers to ensure vaccinations are up-to-date. Individuals born before 1957 are presumed to be immune to measles.
Children are routinely vaccinated for measles at 12-15 months and again at 4-6 years of age before going to kindergarten, but children as young as 6 months old can receive the measles vaccine if they are at risk. Because some children are too young to be immunized, it’s important that those around them are vaccinated to protect them.
From Jan. 1 to March 28, 2019, 387 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 15 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is the second-greatest number of cases reported in the United States since measles was eliminated in 2000. Indiana had one confirmed measles case in 2018.
Measles begins with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes usually about 7 to 10 days after exposure but can occur up to 21 days after exposure. The fever increases and can get as high as 105 degrees. Two to four days later, a rash starts on the face and upper neck. It spreads down the back and trunk and then extends to the arms and hands, as well as the legs and feet. After about five days, the rash fades in the same order in which it appeared.
Measles is highly contagious. Because it is so easily spread, a single case is considered an outbreak. When infected persons sneeze or cough, droplets spray into the air. Those droplets remain infective in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours.
What you can do
If you are experiencing the symptoms of measles, stay home and call your healthcare provider right away before going to the doctor’s office. Be prepared to describe your symptoms and alert your doctor if you think you have been in contact with an infected person. If you are ill with measles, stay home and away from others, especially unvaccinated infants, people with diseases affecting their immune systems and pregnant women.