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MEASLES: Health Dept. on lookout

February 19, 2012

COLUMBIA CITY — The Whitley County Health Department and Whitley County schools are on the alert for measles after the Indiana State Department of Health recently confirmed 13 cases in Central Indiana. No cases have been reported in Whitley County since the outbreak affected residents of Boone and Hamilton counties.

Lisa Hatcher, health officer for the Whitley County Health Department, said the best advice she can give people who believe they have measles is to stay home and call their physician.

“It’s a highly-contagious disease,” said Hatcher. “People can easily be exposed before they know it.” Hatcher said anyone who has been vaccinated for the disease is unlikely to be affected, and it is often a disease many people recover from. Symptoms generally include a high fever, cough and runny nose.

Dr. Patricia O’Connor, superintendent of Whitley County Consolidated School Corporation, said the schools recently received memorandums on the subject, and in the event of an incident, WCCS would follow recommendations from the Indiana Department of Education and guidelines from the Health Department.

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