LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Oklahoma’s first confirmed case of the measles in 2019 is raising concerns because the United States is seeing the highest number outbreaks across the country since 1994.
Dr. Wanda Diaz said measles can spread quickly. She said if an unprotected person encounters someone who has it, nine out of ten unvaccinated people will get it. Because of recent cases across the nation, and even here in Oklahoma, one emergency care center said there are several people talking about the measles, but they haven't seen any patients with it.
"Most of the people, as long as they've been immunized, most of the people are calm," she said.
Johnna Huchens, a medical assistant, said if you think you or a loved one has the measles, you should come in as soon as possible.
"Let the front desk when you register know what you think it may be and then that way we can take precautions from there," Huchens said.
If an outbreak happens here, Dr. Diaz said local hospitals have a plan in place.
"Most of the people can stay at home,” she said. “It's like the flu outbreak. The idea is that you get diagnosed and then you get home unless you have any of the serious complications. Most of the time, you'll need Tylenol and or Motrin for the fever is the main thing."
She said the most common symptoms are fever, rash, cough, and runny nose.
"The rash usually starts about four days after the fever,” Dr. Diaz said. “First, it looks like any cold, cough, cold and fever."
People are contagious four days before and after the rash breaks out. Dr. Diaz said getting vaccinated is the easiest thing you can do to protect yourself from the measles.
"Especially if you have little ones, little babies because they're the most at risk and or is on treatment with immune compromised meaning cancer treatments of HIV because they cannot fight this disease either," she said.
Dr. Diaz said there aren’t any boosters people can get, but people who are in high-risk jobs, like nursing, can have tests done to make sure their vaccine worked.