The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Sedgwick County Health Department have reported four additional cases of measles in Sedgwick County, Kan. One case was in an adult linked to a recent outbreak of measles in the Kansas City metropolitan area, and who is an employee at Sal’s Japanese Steakhouse, two other adults were also employees at Sal’s Japanese Steakhouse and became infected. The fourth case was in an unvaccinated infant whose only known exposure was at the restaurant.
Due to the concern of transmission to the public, health officials are requesting anyone who dined at Sal’s Japanese Steakhouse, 6829 E. Kellogg Dr. in Wichita, on the following dates: June 20, 23, 25, 29, July 3, 5, and July 7, and later developed an illness with fever and rash to contact their health care provider. Healthcare providers who have questions should call the Kansas Department of Health and Environment at 877-427-7317 or the Sedgwick County Health Department at 316-660-7424.
Measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. With the creation of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, measles cases have generally been rare in the United States; however, it still sickens approximately 20 million and kills 164,000 people worldwide each year. There has been a resurgence of measles cases in the United States in 2014. From January 1, 2014 through July 3, 2014, 554 confirmed measles cases have been reported in 20 states. This is the highest number of cases since indigenous measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000.
“The best way to keep from getting the disease is by being vaccinated. Protect children by making sure they have the MMR vaccine when they are 12 to 15 months old, and again before they enter kindergarten,” said Robert Moser, M.D., KDHE Secretary and State Health Officer.
Measles is highly contagious and is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. The signs and symptoms of measles typically begin one to two weeks after someone is exposed to an infected person. Symptoms include:
Blotchy rash on the skin, which spreads from the head to the trunk then to the lower extremities (Measles can be spread to others from four days before to four days after the rash appears.)
Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
Feeling run down, achy
Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers found inside the mouth (Koplik spots)
“If you have a fever, stay home except to see a healthcare provider. If you need to visit your healthcare provider, call ahead so appropriate measures can be taken to protect other patients and staff,” said Adrienne Byrne-Lutz, SCHD Interim Director.
People at high risk for severe illness and complications from measles include infants and children aged 20 years, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems.