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Kansas measles cases rise to 11 after two new cases are reported in Sedgwick County

Just days after the Sedgwick County Health Department (SCHD) reported four cases of measles, mostly in employees of Sal’s Japanese Steakhouse  in Wichita, KS, health authorities have announced two additional cases today. One case was in an infant too young to be vaccinated and one case was in an adult. Both cases are epidemiologically linked to other known, recently reported cases of measles in Sedgwick County. In total, there have now been eight cases reported in Sedgwick County and three cases reported in Johnson County to date in 2014.   

Measles rash Image/CDC

Measles rash
Image/CDC

The eight cases in Sedgwick County have been reported in the past five days.

Measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. With the creation of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, measles cases have generally been rare in the United States; however, it still sickens approximately 20 million and kills 164,000 people worldwide each year. There has been a resurgence of measles cases in the United States in 2014. From January 1, 2014 through July 3, 2014, 554 confirmed measles cases have been reported in 20 states. This is the highest number of cases since indigenous measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000.

“The best way to keep from getting the disease is by being vaccinated. Protect children by making sure they have the MMR vaccine when they are 12 to 15 months old, and again before they enter kindergarten,” said Robert Moser, M.D., KDHE Secretary and State Health Officer.

Measles is highly contagious and is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. The signs and symptoms of measles typically begin one to two weeks after someone is exposed to an infected person. Symptoms include: Fever, blotchy rash on the skin, which spreads from the head to the trunk then to the lower extremities (Measles can be spread to others from four days before to four days after the rash appears.), cough, runny nose, red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis), feeling run down, achy and tiny white spots with bluish-white centers found inside the mouth (Koplik spots).

Nearly one in three persons who get measles will develop one or more complications, some of which may be serious. These include pneumonia, ear infections, or diarrhea. Encephalitis, which is a severe inflammation of the brain, may also occur in some cases. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

“If you have a fever, stay home except to see a healthcare provider. If you need to visit your healthcare provider, call ahead so appropriate measures can be taken to protect other patients and staff,” said Adrienne Byrne-Lutz, SCHD Interim Director.

People at high risk for severe illness and complications from measles include infants and children aged <5 years, adults aged >20 years, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems.

Related story: Kansas reports Naegleria fowleri death in Johnson County resident

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Kansas measles update: A softball tournament and another Wichita Restaurant | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] date, Kansas has reported 11 confirmed measles cases. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease […]

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