Measles investigation continues

Josh Chapin Image
Friday, June 29, 2018
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Two people on the Wake-Johnston County line have contracted measles.

Public health officials say two people on the Wake-Johnston County lines contracted measles while traveling abroad recently.

Six people remain quarantined as of Thursday night after they were exposed.

"Measles can be a very serious health condition," said Dr. Sue Lynn Ledford, Public Health Division Director for Wake County. "Sometimes I compare us to homeland security because we do assure that there is security and safety for our country."

In the last two weeks, Dr. Ledford said the health department has opened an investigation into the cases of measles.

Two-hundred and seventy people are being looked at after they came into contact with one of the two infected individuals. Two-hundred and thirty of them have been looked at and deemed to have had their vaccines.

"Any time people do not proactively take the vaccines that are available, any of the vaccine-preventable diseases can become an issue again," said Dr. Ledford. "We're in a global society and people travel. When they travel unvaccinated especially doing foreign travel, they're very much at risk for contracting any of the vaccine-preventable diseases. We have very highly vaccinated populations so we have good immunity though you don't see many cases of measles."

The last time Wake County saw a case was in 2016.

"We just highly encourage everyone to consider the importance of vaccines," Dr. Ledford said. "Vaccines are one of the modern benefits in health preventative medicine and we highly encourage knowing when vaccines are due and not to travel without making sure you have vaccines."

Nearly 25 health department staff have worked on this case since it opened two weeks ago.

Public health officials said the six people quarantined will remain there until early July, and just because they are quarantined does not mean they have measles.

If you think you've been infected, Wake County has a list of places where you might have been exposed to the disease.