Kansas health department reports six measles cases

The Finney County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment are reporting that there have been at least six cases of measles identified in Garden City.

The six cases represent more cases than were seen in all of Kansas last year. The state identified two cases of measles on January 10 that were related to international travel and required hospitalization. Four people who had contact with the two cases later developed measles, reports.

According to the KDHE, the two original cases had an onset of rash on January 3 and January 5. Because the average incubation period of measles is 10 to 14 days, secondary cases are now beginning to appear outside of the initial family. Two of the additional cases have appeared within the family household and two have occurred outside of the family.

Measles is a respiratory disease that is caused by a virus and can cause runny nose, tiredness, cough, fever and a blotchy rash that occurs all over the body. The disease is spread through the air by sneezing, coughing and breathing and is so contagious that any person without immunity is likely to get the disease.

"If you are ill with fever, stay home except to see a healthcare provider," Robert Moser, the KDHE secretary and state health officer, said, according to "If you need to seek healthcare, call ahead so appropriate measures can be taken to protect other patients and staff. In some cases, measles can result in secondary illnesses, such as bronchitis, pneumonia and encephalitis."

The KDHE recommends that all adults attending colleges, post-high school educational institutions, working in medical facilities or traveling internationally be assessed to make sure that they are properly immunized.