TULSA, Okla. – The Tulsa Health Department (THD) and the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) have expanded their investigation into the measles case confirmed in Okmulgee County on May 15.
Through information obtained from the ongoing investigation, health officials want to alert anyone who visited New Beginnings Church, 4104 E. 151st St. S. Bixby, on May 7, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. for their end of the semester program and Pre-K graduation ceremony about potential exposure to the measles case. Health officials from the Tulsa Health Department are collaborating with the New Beginnings Church and the Oklahoma State Department of Health to identify anyone who may have visited during this specific timeframe to inform them of their exposure and provide recommendations.
OSDH confirmed on May 15 the measles case during the time the patient was contagious, public health officials want to alert anyone who visited Saint Francis Glenpool emergency room, May 11, from 8 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. about potential exposure to the measles virus.
This is the first confirmed case of measles in Oklahoma since May 2018. As of Jan. 1, there have been at least 880 cases of measles reported in the United States from 24 states. This is the highest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994.
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.
Individuals are protected if they are immunized with two doses of a measles-containing vaccine after their first birthday, or if they were born during or before 1957, or if they have previously had the measles. Anyone who is concerned about possible exposure should contact public health officials at 800-234-5963.
For more information about measles, click here. To receive the MMR vaccine, contact a health care provider or a county health department.