According to the Winnebago County Health Department, an area four-year-old may have measles.
The WCHD is investigating the case, which began on June 30 with a rash that began near the child's ears. The child also had conjunctivitis, fever, and Koplik spots that were observed by a physician.
Measles is highly contagious and can be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets, mainly when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. There is an average of 14 days between exposure to the onset of rash.
Main characterizations of measles includes a fever and cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose, red runny and sensitive eyes, and a cough. Those symptoms are then followed by a red, blotchy rash that usually begins on the face or neck and then spreads to the rest of the body.
Measles can easily be prevented through a vaccination. People of all ages are recommended to keep up to date with their vaccinations, and all children should receive two doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. The first dose of the vaccine should be administered between 12 and 15 months of age and the second should be given between the ages of four and six. Vaccinations are available to Winnebago County residents without a medical provider at the WCHD. Appointments can be made by calling 815-720-4370.
Winnebago County has not seen a confirmed case of measles since before 1994, but the WCHD is encouraging local doctors to keep an eye out for patients exhibiting the above symptoms and to report any suspicious cases to the department.
More information on measles can be found at the WCDH's website or by calling the department at 815-720-4000 during normal business hours.
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