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Monday, May 5, 2008

Keep immunizations up to date, officials urge

--- State confirms Walworth County measles case

Health officials have confirmed the suspected case of measles in Walworth County. The case was reported earlier this month and is one of six confirmed cases in the state.

Pat Grove, health official for Walworth County Health and Human Services, didn't indicate whether there were any more suspected cases.

The Department of Health and Family Services has reported six confirmed cases of measles in Wisconsin, with three cases in Milwaukee County and one each in Racine, Walworth and Waukesha counties.

Health officials have said all the infected people have recovered and no longer are showing symptoms, but the state still recommends people get vaccinated.

Grove said HHS staff has been contacting hundreds of patients who may have come in contact with the infected individual.

The department has been taking about 20 calls a day from concerned parents, Grove said.

Measles is spread through airborne droplets through coughing or sneezing, Grove said.

After exposure, measles takes from eight to 12 days for the symptoms to appear. It begins with cold-like symptoms including a cough, runny nose, high temperature and red, watery eyes.

It can be spread from one day before the onset of the cold-like symptoms through the fourth day of the rash, which appears the second day after the onset.

The red, blotchy rash appears at the hairline and spreads down the body to the arms and legs. In about five or six days, the rash disappears first from the head and then the lower body.

Measles vaccine (usually given in combination with rubella and mumps vaccine, called measles-mumps-rubella or MMR vaccine) is recommended for all children at 12-15 months of age and again at 4-6 years of age. The two doses of vaccine normally provide lifelong immunity.

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Immunization clinics

May 8, 3-6 p.m., St. Francis De Sales Church, 148 W. Main St., Lake Geneva

May 13, 3-6 p.m., Walworth County Public Health Nursing, Health and Human Services (WIC Building), East Entrance, W4051 County Road NN, Elkhorn

May 20, 9-11 a.m., Lutheran Memorial Lutheran Church, 910 E. Geneva St., Delavan

May 27, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Walworth County Public Health Nursing, Health and Human Services (WIC Building), East Entrance, W4051 County Road NN, Elkhorn

Patients must bring written immunization record to be eligible for vaccination.

Immunization records also may be accessed online at http://dhfsWIR.org. Accessing records on the Wisconsin Immunization Program Web site requires a Social Security or Medicaid ID number.

Children under age 18 must have a parent or legal guardian present or have written permission to be vaccinated.

Spanish interpreters are available at all clinics.

There is a small administration fee, but no charge for MA or Badger Care recipients. No one is denied vaccine for failure to pay.

No appointment is necessary. For questions or further information, call (262) 741-3140.

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