Three more North Platte residents are being tested for measles, in addition to one confirmed case late last week.The victims in the three new cases all show measles-like symptoms, health officials said Tuesday afternoon.
Eisenhower school, the school soccer fields, a Kwik Stop convenience store and the airport diner are among possible places where others could have been exposed to measles, the West Central District Health Department in North Platte said.
(The full list of places and times is below.)
Exposures could have occurred during the conference soccer tournament April 7-8. The most recent points of exposure were just one day ago, on Tuesday, April 17.
If you were at one of those places, watch closely for the signs and symptoms of measles. Symptoms can develop up to 21 days after exposure.
If you develop symptoms of measles, call your healthcare provider immediately to discuss the symptoms before showing up at a clinic. A separate location might be arranged so other people are not in danger of exposure.
Health officials are notifying persons known to have been exposed, the department said. The public schools have contacted the parents of unvaccinated children, telling them not to attend school.
Children who are vaccinated are considered to be immune, although there are rare exceptions. Health officials believe about 3% of vaccinated children can contract the measles, although typically in those cases, the virus is less severe.
The possible exposure points in the three latest suspected cases:
• Eisenhower Elementary school, April 2-13.
• GNAC Soccer Tournament, April 7-8. (Adams and Madison soccer fields, restrooms and concession areas)
• Big Apple in Kearney, April 15 (4–10:30 pm)
• Shell Gas Station (108 Second Ave., Kearney) April 15 (8–10:30 p.m.)
• North Platte Airport Diner, April 17 (11 am – 3 pm)
• Kwik Stop (4th and Poplar), April 17 (4:30–6:30 p.m.)
The most serious health danger is to infants and pregnant mothers. Infants less than 12 months of age -- too young to be vaccinated -- should be monitored closely for symptoms if they attended one of the events listed.
Signs and symptoms of measles generally begin about 7-14 days after exposure. A typical case of measles begins with mild to moderate fever, cough, runny nose, red watery eyes and a sore throat.
Two or three days later, tiny white spots, called Koplick’s spots, may appear inside the mouth.
Three to five days after the start of symptoms, a red or reddish-brown rash usually begins on the face near the hairline and spreads downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs and feet.
Call your health care provider if your infant has been exposed and is too young to be vaccinated, to discuss options.
Preschool children 12 months or older should have had at least one dose of measles-containing vaccine. School officials believe they can attend preschool without danger of spreading the virus. Their parents are encouraged to take their chiildren for the second dose of vaccine, however, Associate Superintendent Stuart Simpson said.
Most persons under 40 who were compliant with school entry requirements have had two doses of vaccine (MMR) and have a very low risk of developing measles if exposed. Persons who were not vaccinated are at high risk if exposed to a person shedding the measles virus.
People born before 1957, before vaccine was administered, are considered immune because at that time most people were infected with measles as children.
Prior exposure points
In the first North Platte case, the exposure points were:
• Madison Middle School, April 1-10
• North Platte Public Transit, April 3-10
• New Life Church Youth Group, April 5 (6–10:30 pm)
• Great Plains Health emergency room, April 10 (6 p.m.–2:30 a.m.)
• Precise Family Care, April 11 (8 a.m.–2 p.m.)
• Great Plains Health Pavilion in Pathology Services, April 11 (11 a.m.-3 p.m.) and April 17 (12:30-2:30 p.m.)
Adults born in or after 1957 who are not healthcare personnel or frequent international travelers and cannot confirm that they have been vaccinated or had measles in the past should consider getting a dose of vaccine at this time to minimize the risk of acquiring measles in the future.
For answers about vaccination status
Call your healthcare provider or the West Central District Health Department at (308) 221-6831 or (308) 696-1201 to discuss your immunization history and whether you need to get a vaccination at this time.
Where can I get vaccinated?
Call your healthcare provider or West Central District Health Department at (308) 221-6831 or (308) 696-1201.
For more information, see www.wcdhd.org or https://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html