Arkansas confirms two measles cases

The Arkansas Department of Health confirmed two measles cases on Thursday and a possible third case in Gentry, Arkansas, which is located in Benton County.

The health department recommended that people who might have been exposed to the viral disease take protective action, reports.

Gary Wheeler, the branch chief at the ADH's Infectious Disease Branch, said that measles is very contagious and is particularly serious for certain groups of people.

"We are taking precautions as if this were measles until we have confirmation," Wheeler said, according to

The ADH recommends that any Arkansan or visitor to the state who has not received a vaccination for measles receive the vaccine at a local health unit or from a doctor. People at risk for serious illness from the disease include people who have compromised immune systems as the result of chronic disease, chemotherapy and other causes. Measles may also cause premature birth or miscarriage in pregnant women, reports.

Arkansas reported two cases of measles in 2008 and one case in 2012.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measles is a respiratory disease that is highly infectious for families, college students, military recruits and other people living in close quarters who are not immune from past infection or vaccination.