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You can help keep measles away, Shelby County health officials say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Responding to a measles outbreak is nothing new for Shelby County health agencies — they’re using lessons learned from one in 2016 to prepare this time around.

“We were able to contain that seven cases of measles, six in Shelby County and one in a surrounding county," said Alisa Haushalter with the Shelby County Health Department. "One of the ways we were able to contain the measles are the things we do day-to day.”

There are no reported cases in the county now, but there are things you can do to help it stay that way.

Good hand washing, and staying home if you’re sick, to name a few. The biggest is making sure your shots are up to date.

"The most important and effective way to prevent and outbreak of measles in the community is for everyone to have immunity to measles, and the best and most effective way to have that immunity is by vaccination," said Dr. Nicholas Hysmith with Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

This weekend kicks off one of the busiest months of the year here in the city of Memphis. Lots of people will be traveling into town for various events.

Health officials say you need to be less concerned about whose coming into town and more concerned with whose going out of town.

"So it’s really critical, if an individual is going to travel abroad, that they work with their primary care provider or any clinic that does vaccines for international travel to get the appropriate vaccines before they leave," Haushalter said.

The health department says it will be ready either way.

"We are prepared for that and we have signage and protocols in place in the event that does happen here in Shelby County," Hysmith said.

 

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