MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA)- The Alabama Department of Health confirms a person from Tennessee with the measles likely exposed other people during two stops in Alabama. Health officials say the infected person made a stop at a gas station in Livingston, AL and a Chick-Fil-A in Fort Payne, AL.
The incident happened about two weeks ago, but there are no confirmed cases of measles in Alabama at this time.
Nationally, the number of Measles cases in the U.S. has hit its highest point since the disease was declared eliminated. The federal government now confirms 695 cases in 22 states.
Cassidy Jackson is protective, like most mothers. While she has some concerns about the measles outbreak, she has peace of mind knowing her son has been vaccinated against the infectious disease.
“I make sure he is always up to date on his shots,” said Jackson.
Scott Van De Water says his wife being a medical professional, they made the same decision to vaccinate their children.
“She understands the risk and benefits. For that reason it was clear to us," he said.
Public health officials say most cases have emerged in communities with low rates of vaccination against the virus.
“I do have some family members who have made the choice not to get their children vaccinated, and for them I am concerned.” said Van De Water.
While there are not cases confirmed in Alabama, doctors at UAB held a press conference earlier this week. They are on alert, because measles is highly contagious.
“The frightening thing about that is it lives in the air for two hours after sneezing. People are infectious four days before they get the rash and four days after the rash resolves," said Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo.
This is the reason everyone is being urged to take proactive measure.
“Make sure people who have not been immunized get immunized and that would be important to do right now,” said Dr. William Curry.
According to the ADPH, a single case of measles will infect up to 95 percent of unvaccinated people who are exposed. Between 20 percent and 30 percent of infected people have complications from the disease, especially children less than 5 years of age or adults over 20 years of age.
If you’re not sure you received the measles vaccination as a child, you can get a booster from your doctor. The measles vaccine is considered safe and nearly 100 percent effective.
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