2 people in GA treated for measles, health officials urge awareness of disease

Measles vaccine (Source: WALB)
Measles vaccine (Source: WALB)
Updated: Jan. 24, 2019 at 6:07 AM EST
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Two people in Atlanta have been treated for measles this month.

Health care professionals want to remind Southwest Georgians of the disease and how quickly it can spread.

Director for Public Health in Southwest Georgia Doctor Charles Ruis said children who are not vaccinated are at the highest risk for contracting the disease.

The symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, then after the first few days a rash breaks out around the face and hairline then progressively spreads down the body.

Infants, people who have never been vaccinated, and anyone with a compromised immune system are most at risk.

Dr. Charles Ruis, Director for Public Health in SW GA (Source: WALB)
Dr. Charles Ruis, Director for Public Health in SW GA (Source: WALB)

However, for people born before 1957 they most likely have immunity and don’t need the vaccine.

“If people have had the measles vaccine series, which is usually completed by age six, they have a 98 percent chance of lifelong immunity,” explained Ruis.

Ruis said if someone who is vaccinated somehow got the measles, the degree of symptoms would be diminished.

“We want to educate people and let everyone know that the vaccine is readily available throughout Southwest Georgia, at all health departments, most doctors offices especially those who take care of children.”

He said generally insurance and medicaid pay for the cost of the vaccine.

Another source of infection can develop from people who travel to Georgia from abroad.

Health standards aren’t the same in other countries and vaccines may not be as readily available.

If you may think you have the measles call your doctor’s office before going so special accommodations can be made before your arrival.

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