Oklahoma State Dept. of Health investigating possible measles case

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TULSA, Okla. - The Oklahoma State Department of Health is investigating a possible measles case, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Tony Sellars, a spokesman for the health department, told News 4 they are waiting for test results on a case and an investigation is underway. Sellars did not say the location of the case or what hospital system.

Saint Francis Health System has confirmed to News 4 they are working with the State Department of Health to investigate the case:

"A suspected case of measles was identified at one of our ambulatory facilities. A notice was sent out to our medical staff apprising them of the potential case while awaiting final results from the Department of Health. As with all public health issues, the Department of Health with oversee the release of information regarding this case."

The Center for Disease Control says there have been no confirmed cases of the measles in Oklahoma this year, but there have been confirmed cases in 23 other states.

A person can spread the illness four days before and four days after developing the rash and therefore may unknowingly spread it. The virus can be airborne and spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

“Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected,” according to the CDC.

A person who has had measles or has been inoculated is immune. Two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella or MMR vaccine are recommended. The CDC advises that the first dose be given to children when they are between 12 and 15 months old and the second when they are between 4 and 6 years old, though it can be given as early as 28 days after the first dose.

One dose is 93% effective at preventing the illness, and two doses are 97% effective.

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