State health department confirms Indiana’s first measles case of 2019

Measels vaccination (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indiana’s first measles case of 2019 has been confirmed in the northern part of the state.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It is rare in the U.S. 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.

The Indiana State Department of Health announced Friday that it’s 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 officials say the investigation has found risk of exposure in those states as well.

The health department says those 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.

Health officials say the best defense against measles is immunization. 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).

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.

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.

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