A case of measles has been confirmed in North Platte from a middle school student at Madison Middle School.The case was treated in North Platte on April 10-11, according to information provided by the West Central District Health Department and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
Health officials have been working with agencies to address the concerns and dangers. People known to have been exposed are being notified, the health department said Saturday.
"My son has been tested positive for measles please take your child to doctor if any symptoms of a sinus infection itchy watery eyes limphnoids swell and rash break out," said the North Platte parent of the boy, around noon Saturday on the facebook site, "No Limits North Platte."
“The West Central District Health Department is aware of and currently investigating a lab confirmed case of measles in the North Platte area,” the health department replied in a facebook statement Saturday afternoon.
Measles is extremely rare in Nebraska but highly contagious. It starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat, and is followed by a rash that spreads over the body. Measles symptoms typically begin 6-14 days after exposure.
There were no measles cases in Nebraska last year. There were just three in 2015 and one case in 2014. Before that, there were no cases of measles among the state’s residents since the early 90s, DHHS said.
Measles are not to be taken lightly. It can bring fevers up to 104°F and in extreme cases, it can be fatal. Deaths are reported in about 1 or 2 out of every 1,000 cases, usually from complications, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control.
Children younger than age 5 and adults older than 20 are more likely to suffer from measles complications, the CDC says.
Since measles is caused by a virus, there is no specific medical treatment and the virus has to run its course. But a child who is sick should drink plenty of fluids, get lots of rest, and be kept from spreading infection to others.
The first symptoms of the infection are usually a hacking cough, runny nose, high fever and red eyes. Children who get the disease also might have Koplik's spots, small red spots with blue-white centers that appear inside the mouth.
The reddish-brown rash usually first shows up as flat red spots on the forehead. It spreads to the rest of the face, then down the neck and torso to the arms, legs, and feet.
The fever and rash gradually go away after a few days, medical advisors say.
Infants less than12 months of age are too young to be vaccinated and should be monitored closely.
Measles vaccination is highly effective but not 100% preventative, DHHS says. Studies show more than 97 percent of people who receive two doses of vaccine are protected. A person is considered immune if they have two doses of vaccine, or if they were born before 1957, when most people were infected with measles as chidren, before the measles vaccine.
The Madison student was also at these places in North Platte, where other people could have been exposed, the DHHS said.
• Madison Middle School -- April 1-10
• New Life Church Youth Group - April 5 (6–10:30 pm)
• Great Plains Health Emergency Room - April 10-11 (6 pm – 2:30 am)
• Precise Medical Care - April 11 (8 am–2 pm)
• Great Plains Health Pavilion in Pathology Services - April 11 (11 am – 3 pm)
Here is more information about measles from the CDC:
Common measles complications include ear infections and diarrhea.
• Ear infections occur in about one out of every 10 children with measles and can result in permanent hearing loss.
• Diarrhea is reported in less than one out of 10 people with measles.
Some people may suffer from severe complications, such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs) and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). They may need to be hospitalized and could die.
• As many as one out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children.
• About one child out of every 1,000 who get measles will develop encephalitis (swelling of the brain) that can lead to convulsions and can leave the child deaf or with intellectual disability.
• For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it.
• Measles may cause pregnant woman to give birth prematurely, or have a low-birth-weight baby.
For more information, see https://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/index.html
This is believed to be the second case of measles this year in Nebraska. A month ago, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services received a report of a confirmed measles case in Omaha.
The measles victim spent time in both Douglas and Sarpy counties, DHHS said, at Eppley Airfield in Omaha, and at a hotel and urgent care center. The dangers of exposure were from March 12-17, DHHS said.