Across the country from a measles outbreak that has prompted a state of emergency, three people were diagnosed with the highly contagious virus in Atlanta, Georgia, health officials confirmed.
All three individuals are family members and were not vaccinated, the Georgia Department of Public Health said Tuesday. Two cases were confirmed on Jan. 13 and the third was confirmed on Jan. 26.
All three cases are no longer in the infectious stage of the disease, the department said.
The health officials’ announcement did not include the names or ages of the three patients. Outside of that family, the department said there were no other secondary reports of infection, and that those who may have been exposed to the virus have been notified.
The three cases come amid growing concern over a measles outbreak in the Pacific Northwest, where 40 patients have been confirmed, according to the Associate Press. Most cases are children under the age of 10. Washington State Governor Jay Inslee declared an emergency, while health officials have urged immunization against the potentially deadly infection in a region with unusually low vaccination rates.
Anyone with symptoms of measles, including a telltale rash, fever, cough and running nose, should call ahead of visiting a doctor to avoid possibly spreading the illness, Georgia’s health officials cautioned.
“DO NOT go to the doctor’s office, the hospital or a public health clinic without FIRST calling to let them know about your possible contact with measles,” the department said.
Health workers declared measles eliminated from the U.S. in 2000 thanks to a widespread vaccination program. But then vaccine rates in the U.S. and elsewhere plummeted, contributing to what the World Health Organization called a global spike in reported measles cases in 2017.
In 2018, WHO noted 107 cases of measles across 21 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
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