OLATHE, KAN—A case of measles has been confirmed in Johnson County, the Health Department announced on Wednesday. The Johnson County Health Department said all those at risk for disease were being contacted and the investigation is ongoing.
Measles is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing and the Health Department said it is very contagious. Measles can be spread to others from four days before to four days after the rash appears.
The Health Department said the best way to keep from getting the disease is by being vaccinated, and making sure children have the vaccine when they are 12 to 15 months old, and again before they enter kindergarten.
This is the first case of measles reported in Johnson County for seven years. Disease officials there say that's largely thanks to most people being vaccinated.
They are, however, concerned about the widely and thoroughly discredited theory that the MMR vaccine is linked to autism. They say it's safer to get the vaccine than not.
"That's really our key message is to stress the importance for children to get those childhood immunizations and to get them on schedule," explains Loujene Marsh, the Director of the Johnson County Health Department.
The people who were around the person with measles four days before and four days after he or she was diagnosed are being notified of the risk, officials said.
Johnson County did not release any information about the person with measles, so it is currently unknown if school-aged children are at risk.