Fourth measles case confirmed in Utah

Health officials in Utah's Salt Lake County reported a fourth confirmed case of the measles on on Monday as well as six more suspected cases of the highly contagious and infectious disease.

Officials first announced the local presence of the measles virus on Thursday and have asked that unvaccinated individuals with possible exposure remain in voluntary quarantine, reports.

"It's very important to try to prevent the disease because the disease is very serious and it is difficult to treat," Audrey Stevenson, the Salt Lake Valley Health Department family health services director, said, according to “Victims might have minor symptoms up to four days before a rash appears and remain contagious for up to four days afterward.”

Those affected from the measles cases range in age from toddler to late-teens. One victim was hospitalized for a short time upon infection. Four schools have been impacted by the voluntary quarantine, which includes Olympus High School, where the measles was first reported, reports. At least 22 students are on leave from that school until April 25, when officials believe the disease will have run its course.

While most students are immunized against the measles, those who are not have been asked to stay home for the duration of the contagious period.

A previous outbreak of measles in Utah in 1996 ended up costing the state approximately $600,000. At least 107 individuals were affected during that outbreak, reports.