July 16, 2019

Kansas Measles Outbreak Associated with Restaurant

A measles outbreak has been associated with a restaurant in Wichita, Kansas. At least 11 cases have been reported in Sedgwick and Johnson counties to date. The disease is very contagious to anyone who has not been vaccinated. In fact, if one person who has the illness goes out in public, 90% of people who come close to that person will catch it. The illness is contagious from four days before to four days after a rash appears.

Restaurant ChefAn employee at Sal’s Japanese Steakhouse at 6829 East Kellogg Drive in Wichita was diagnosed with the disease earlier this month. Public health officials ask that if you or anyone you know ate at that restaurant on June 20, 23, 25, 29, July 3, 5, and 7, 2014 and developed an illness with fever and rash, contact your doctor immediately. The measles virus is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. Symptoms appear about one to two weeks after exposure.

Children under the age of one year are most susceptible to the disease, since the measles mumps rubella (MMR) vaccination is not given until babies are 12 months. The symptoms of a measles infection include fever, blotchy rash on the skin that starts at the head then spreads to the trunk and lower limbs, cough, runny nose, red, watery eyes, feeling run down and achy, and tiny white spots with bluish-white centers inside the mouth.

About 30% of those who contract a measles infection will develop complications. Some of these can be serious, including encephalitis, pneumonia, ear infections, and diarrhea. Worldwide, measles sickens 20,000,000 people and kills about 164,000 every year. Those who are at high risk for complications of measles include children under the age of 5, adults over the age of 20, pregnant women, and those with chronic illnesses and compromised immune systems.

According to the CDC, in 2014, there has been a resurgence of measles cases in this country. Five hundred sixty six cases have been reported in 20 states since the beginning of the year. Most people who contracted the disease were unvaccinated.

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