The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is working with the Kansas City, Missouri Health Department to investigate a possible case of measles in the Kansas City, Missouri area. The individual presented to a hospital in Kansas after developing a rash on March 21, 2018. The illness began following international travel. The initial laboratory test for measles was positive and additional tests for measles are pending. Known locations where exposures may have occurred on March 19 and 22 were: March 19, Señor Tequila restaurant (6502 North Oak Trafficway, Kansas City, Missouri 64118) and March 22, CVS (1914 Swift St., North Kansas City, Missouri 64116).

This is an ongoing investigation, so information may change as the investigation continues.

Measles is a highly contagious, acute viral illness that is transmitted by contact with an infected person through coughing and sneezing. Patients are considered to be contagious from four days before until four days after the rash appears. The measles virus can remain infectious in the air for up to two hours after an infected person leaves an area such as a waiting room. Measles is vaccine-preventable disease. You can check with your health care provider to make sure you and your family are up-to-date on vaccines.

The symptoms of measles generally include a rash that appears 7-21 days after exposure. Measles typically begins with:

o   A high fever o   Cough o   Runny nose o   Red, watery eyes

Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash starts to appear. The rash usually looks like flat red spots that break out first on the face and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs and feet.

People who may have been exposed to measles should contact their health care provider if they develop cold-like symptoms with a fever and/or rash as described above. If you may have been exposed to measles and you have symptoms, you should NOT go to any health care facility without calling first. This will help the health care facility prepare for your arrival and allow the facility to provide instructions to you to reduce possible exposures to others at the facility.

Director of DHSS, Dr. Randall Williams, says, “If someone has measles, it is important they stay isolated from others to keep from spreading it. Measles is extremely contagious, and you can have very severe outcomes. For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it. If you are diagnosed with measles, it is important to follow the instructions of your health care provider and public health officials to protect your family and community.”

Health care providers should isolate suspected measles case-patients and immediately report suspected cases to the local public health agency or to DHSS at 573/751-6113 or 800/392-0272 outside normal business hours. For more information about measles go to https://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html. 

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at health.mo.gov.