COLBERT COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - Health officials on Monday said 555 measles cases have been confirmed in the U.S. so far this year. But the case out of Tennessee has health officials in here in Alabama taking notice.
Colbert County Health Department officials say the measles case reported in east Tennessee means everyone needs to make sure they are vaccinated. It’s a serious and deadly disease that can spread easily.
So far, no cases of measles have been reported in the Tennessee Valley. Ninety-five percent of Alabamians are vaccinated but the 5 percent of people not vaccinated is still a problem.
Dr. Karen Landers with the Colbert County Health Department says Alabamians need to educate themselves and be aware of measles. The measles virus is highly contagious and can stay airborne or live on surfaces for up to two hours.
Symptoms of measles may include fever, runny nose, body aches, watery eyes, and white spots in the mouth.
Landers says the only way to protect your family from the disease is to make sure you and your loved ones are vaccinated.
“Measles is one vaccine that is preventable and is required to be reported to the state of Alabama for investigation by our disease control team,” said Landers.
Right now, it’s important everyone double checks that you and members of your family are up to date with vaccinations, especially measles.