Health experts bring awareness about measles


WHITFIELD COUNTY, Ga. (WDEF) — While a resent measles outbreak isn’t impacting the Tennessee Valley, health experts want people to be aware about the virus.

After an outbreak in Washington, cases have spread to other states. Now there are three reports of the highly contagious disease in the Atlanta area.

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“The rise in measles cases is very concerning, even though they are far away in the pacific northwest we have seen some cases in the Atlanta area,” said Ashley Deverell, the immunization coordinator with the North Georgia Health District.

People can be on the lookout for several different signs.

“Measles is a virus that is preventable by vaccines that can cause upper respiratory symptoms, spread by the airborne, when someone sneezes or coughs, runny nose, cough, fever. Arash that starts from your hairline down is typically associated with measles,” Deverell said.

There is a vaccine that children typically get. Experts say if you haven’t been vaccinated you can get caught up at anytime.

“I would say that the MMR vaccine is very safe, I know there is some debate about that, but most of our vaccines do come in single dose syringes, which does not contain mercury which I know is a big issue for people,” Deverell said.

Over at the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department, they are also thinking about measles.

“Luckily in Chattanooga we are not seeing a problem, but because it can be as quick as a plane flight away then automatically we get concerned about our folks that are not already protected against these types of diseases,” Sharon Goforth with the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department.

People may not even realize its around.

“So even though that person may be gone that infectious virus may be still lingering in the air, you come into the air, you come into the room, you’ve just exposed yourself,” Goforth said.

People who think they may have measles are urged to contact their doctor.