The outbreak has grown to 87 cases; one in Nebraska.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Tom Safranek says one of the 87 cases was discovered in the Omaha area. Another unrelated case has been reported in Lincoln.
Safranek says that’s enough to raise concern.
“If you’re in a room or in an environment where a person has had measles, that virus can remain there airborne for a period of time,” Safranek tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “It may be two or three hours after they have been there. If a non-immune person gets in to that environment, it just seems like there’s a very high attack rate for the not immune.”
Safranek says health officials have yet to pinpoint the origin of the Lincoln area measles case. The two cases in Nebraska are the first reported in the state since the 1990s.
Safranek says most of the measles cases can be traced back to a lack of immunizations, which he says has grown out of a misrepresentation of vaccinations. He says that isn’t as much of a problem here.
“And we’ve been able to overcome some of the false, negative stories about vaccines. So, we’re good in that regard,” according to Safranek. “I would feel a lot worse if I were in a lot of other jurisdictions, where their vaccine rates are a lot lower. But, we still have a problem here and it is incredibly disruptive to people’s lives, to health-care providers.”
Children can be protected by vaccination for the measles, mumps and rubella two-shot series.