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Two more cases of measles confirmed in East Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Health Department has confirmed two additional cases of measles in the Volunteer State.

According to the agency, two East Tennessee residents were found to be sick with the measles, bringing the total number of cases for the state to three. They are connected to the first case that was reported on April 19.

The department tweeted at that time that the investigation is currently just focusing on that portion of the state, but encouraged all Tennesseans to know the symptoms and to take action if an up to date MMR vaccine if needed.

Measles is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable respiratory illness characterized by a rash of flat red spots. Symptoms may include fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes. If you develop these symptoms, you are encouraged to call your doctor first before visiting a health care facility, where others could be exposed to the illness.

Officials said only 15 other cases have been diagnosed in the state in the last decade. The largest and most recent outbreak consisted of seven cases in Shelby County in 2016.

Nationwide, the United States has surpassed the highest number on record since the disease was declared eliminated nationwide in 2000.

There have been 681 measles cases across 22 states this year, according to CNN’s analysis of data from state and local health departments posted last Thursday. That number may have gone up since then.

Previously, the highest number of reported cases since elimination was 667 in 2014.

The states reporting measles cases are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

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