Measles case in Stillwater is Oklahoma’s first in 18 years

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STILLWATER, Okla. -A public health warning has been issued in Oklahoma.

For the first time in 18 years, the state has a confirmed case of the measles.

State health officials say a patient with the infectious disease has been found in Stillwater.

The measles is very contagious and also very rare.

In fact, it's been nearly two decades since the state has had a confirmed case of the illness.

Many students now on the OSU campus were only infants back in the late 90's, so hearing that a person currently infected with measles is married to an OSU student did not go unnoticed.

"I was very alarmed. I called my aunt and asked if i'm vaccinated and she said yes," said student Casey Helterdrake.

"Hearing about it does makes you nervous, but as long as you got vaccines, it should be okay," said student Chris Weir.

"Measles is very uncommon. In fact the United States was declared measles free in 2000," said Dr. Kristy Bradley with the Oklahoma Health Department.

Bradley says symptoms of the measles, include a high fever, red eyes, cough, as well as a face and body rash and is easily transmitted.

"It's one of the most contagious illnesses we have," said Bradley.

Jimmy's Egg, Aldi, Food Pyramid, Boba Fusion Cafe, China Wok and the CM Asian Market -two weeks ago, the infected patient visited all those businesses in Stillwater.

"I'm not totally surprised because it's an international students and there are lot of diseases in other countries we don't hear about here," said business manager Rich Grimes.

The good news, there's absolutely no risk of visiting any of the businesses the patient visited now.

Rich hopes it raises awareness about the important of vaccination.

"I just hope people have gotten immunized and it doesn't become a problem," said Grimes.

One reason measles is so infectious is because it can stay alive in the air for two hours.

As a result, someone who enters a room after a person with measles has left it can still become infected.

Prevention is very easy.

Make sure you and your kids have been vaccinated.

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