Health Department IDs Source Of NC Measles Outbreak

5:39 PM, Apr 30, 2013   |    comments
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Stokes County, NC -- Officials with the Stokes County Health Department said they know the source of the measles outbreak, affecting community members in Stokes, Orange and Polk Counties.

According to the health department, someone from Stokes County recently travelled to India without proper vaccinations. They contracted the measles. 

That individual's name has not been released.

Read: DHHS Issues Public Health Advisory After Measles Outbreak

The health department told WFMY News 2, 24 people in Stokes County were initially quarantined in their homes. The quarantine period can last for as long as 21 days. Among those individuals, 15 are school district staff members. The health department said four people have since been released from quarantine, dropping the count to 20 people.

Stokes County Health Director Scott Lenhart said a majority of the cases in their county are among people who live or have visited the Prabhubada Village Community. He said most of the people infected with the disease had not received the measles vaccination.

Prabhupada Village Community released the following statement to WFMY News 2:

We would like to inform the public about the recent measles outbreak in our community, Prabhupada Village, in Sandy Ridge, NC. 

At the first sign of illness, we immediately contacted the local Health Dept. We followed their instructions and are continuing to work closely with them. Our concern is with the safety of the greater public. 

We want everyone to know that we have agreed to have our community programs closed to the public for the time allotted by the Health Dept. This is to ensure that the outbreak does not spread any further.  

In order for the counties and the state to be cleared from the outbreak, 42 days must pass without any new reported cases.

After the outbreak was reported, the health department began offering free vaccinations to residents. Only 80 people in Stokes County went to the health department to get the shot. Many other health departments throughout the state are offering free measles vaccines. Call and check with your local department.

Monday, health officials confirmed 19 cases of the outbreak in Stokes, Orange and Polk counties. One of the cases was identified in a student at North Stokes High School, according to the Stokes County Health Department. 

Measles is highly contagious and is spread through coughing, sneezing, and contact with secretions from the nose, mouth, and throat of an infected person.

Resource: Find Your County Health Department

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