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Oklahoma health officials expand measles investigation

Posted at 3:59 PM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 16:59:25-04

TULSA — The Tulsa Health Department and Oklahoma State Department of Health have partnered to investigate a confirmed case of measles in Okmulgee County.

The confirmed case was announced on May 15, and is the first Oklahoma measles case since May 2018. Officials said that person contracted measles while traveling to various domestic and international destinations.

As of Jan. 1, there have been at least 880 reported measles cases across the United States, the highest number since 1994.

Health officials want to alert anyone who visited New Beginnings Church, 4104 E. 151st St. S. Bixby, on May 7, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for their end of the semester program and Pre-K graduation ceremony that they may have been exposed to measles. Officials are working to identify anyone who visited during this specific timeframe.

Individuals are protected if they are immunized with two doses of a measles-containing vaccine after their first birthday, or if they were born during or before 1957, or if they have previously had measles.

Anyone who is concerned about a possible exposure should contact public health officials at 800-234-5963.


People who are susceptible to measles usually develop symptoms about 10 days after exposure with a range of 7-21 days. Symptoms of measles begin with a mild to moderate fever, runny nose, red eyes, and cough. A few days later, a rash appears starting on the face spreading to the rest of the body accompanied by a fever that can reach up to 105 degrees. Symptoms can range from severe to milder, depending on the individual. Measles can lead to pneumonia and other complications, especially in young children and adults over 20. The disease can also cause serious problems in pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems.

People with measles can spread the virus up to four days before the onset of the rash and until four days after the rash starts.


Measles can be prevented with the measles vaccine (usually given in combination with rubella and mumps, called MMR vaccine). The vaccine is recommended for all children at 12 to 15 months of age and again at four to six years of age. If a person has not received a second dose of the vaccine between four to six years of age, the booster dose may be given at any age thereafter. The measles vaccine is very effective. One dose of measles vaccine is about 93% effective at preventing measles if exposed to the virus. Two doses are about 97% effective.

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