Measles Cases Investigated In Five Counties; Mostly In West TN

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(Nashville, TN) A statewide alert has been sent to medical workers in Tennessee about measles.

The Tennessee Department of Health is investigating five confirmed cases of measles, mostly in west Tennessee.

Those cases are in Madison, Shelby, Gibson, Hamilton and Hardeman counties.

The last time Shelby County had a case was in 1998.

"The state had been working diligently to identify contacts," said  Dr. Helen Morrow with the Shelby County Health Department.

The health department says the original patient became infected about two week ago while traveling to the Philippines.

The measles was eradicated in the United States in 2000, but already this year there have 187 confirmed cases in this country.

There were 189 in all of 2013.

While the majority of those who have contracted the disease have been international travelers, health experts are also blaming the rise in new cases each year to the anti-vaccination movement.

It's recommended that all children get a series of measles shots before they enter kindergarten.

"We have certain people in our population that do not believe in vaccines and have chosen not to get the vaccine. So, we have an even younger population that could be susceptible, " said Dr. Morrow.

Health experts say even though the measles was eradicated here, we are just a plane ride away from countries where it's still a big problem.

This year, there have been more than 26,000 cases in the Philippines.

The Tennessee Department of Health says all international travelers, of all ages should be up to date on their immunizations.

People in other counties may have been exposed.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, "The measles cases in Tennessee appear to have started with one traveler who was exposed to the illness in another country. The other four cases are individuals who were known to have been in close contact with the first patient."

While the focus is currently on five counties, all Tennesseans should be aware of their vulnerability.

Measles is a highly contagious virus which can stay airborne or live on surfaces for up to two hours.

"Recently infected people may not have any symptoms of illness, but can transmit the virus for about five days before the typical rash appears. Symptoms of measles usually appear within one to two weeks after exposure and may include a blotchy rash, runny nose, fever, aches, watery eyes and white spots in the mouth. Nearly one in three patients will develop ear infections, diarrhea or pneumonia."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates measles caused 164,000 deaths worldwide as recently as 2008.

Safe and effective vaccinations are readily available across Tennessee to prevent measles.

For more information about measles, visit


  • Kelly

    So I cant open the link and CDC website doesnt say. But I had the measels when I was kid, so can I still get them now or is it a one time thing like the chicken pox??? Anybody know?

  • Rc

    it’s not likely you would get them again if you had them once. it’s probably POSSIBLE, but very rare

  • truthseeker1953

    Bet the vaccine purveyors’ll blame it on un-vaccinated people. What I’d like to know is how many who’ve contracted them were vaccinated.

    • blahblabh

      probably none. Do all you not gonna vaccinate my kid people realize how many nasty, dirty, disease ridden people come here from other countries and introduce stuff we got rid of years ago?

      • Dr. JohnS

        Who are you talking about, your English is so poor it is hard to tell who you think the ‘nasty, dirty, disease infected’ people coming here? I think anyone you are describing would not have the money to buy a plane ticket. Do you not know how to read? The article said an American flew to the Philippines and brought back the measles.

        People who hide behind their computers and make slander against some one need to leave the city – we no longer need them.

      • blahblabh

        “dr” john, take you head out of the sand. People from 3rd world countries that come here unvaccinated and unhealthy infect our unvaccinated children with diseases. You are apparently one of “them”.

    • MissTee

      Likely none. However, the real question would be how many unvaccinated kids are infecting kids too young to be vaccinated, or those with compromised immune systems. Negligent homicide, as far as I’m concerned.

      I wish I could at least feel better thinking it was a thinning of the herd. But they’re hurting (and killing) kids. Ther kids, as well as others.

      It’s science, people. Read a book or something.

  • Darkness

    Many people that are vaccinated came in fact become infected if the virus mutates, and actually for some people the vaccine doesn’t create a permanent resistance (that’s why there are “booster shots” and why people in the medical field who want to work around neonatal and infants are required to get them).

    But you go on ignoring accepted medical science and taking medical advice from someone whose claim to fame is being a Playboy centerfold and farting on MTV, all while putting innocent people/children in harms way.

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