North Carolina DHHS investigating measles outbreak


Measles is a highly contagious virus that is spread through the air by coughing and sneezing. Seven cases have been reported in Orange and Stokes counties.

ABC11 has learned the patient in Orange County is a school-aged child who is currently at home recovering. For privacy reasons, officials cannot disclose the name of the student or their school.

DHHS is currently working with local public health officials to contact anyone who might have been exposed to any cases. They are also offering vaccines to limit the spread of infection.

"Measles spreads quickly, particularly in children and adults who aren't vaccinated," North Carolina Health Director Dr. Laura Gerald said in a press release Thursday. "We want to make the public aware of this outbreak so individuals can take steps to protect themselves and their families."

Health officials say the incubation period for measles exposure is up to 20 days, so any unvaccinated adults or children who may have come into contact with an infected person, would be forced to stay home for almost three weeks.

The disease is uncommon in North Carolina, so some people might not realize they are infected.

Symptoms may include fever, runny nose, watery red eyes and a cough. After a few days, a rash appears throughout the body and can lead to pneumonia and other complications.

For more information visit DHHS' website.

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