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Kansas Reports First Cases of Measles in Six Years

By Kelley Weiss

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas Health Department has reported the first cases of measles in Kansas. The measles virus is highly contagious, even more so than the mumps. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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First it's the mumps and now it's the measles. The Kansas Health Department has confirmed 3 cases of measles in Harvey County in the south central part of the state. Symptoms of the measles include a cough, fever and rash. The highly contagious virus is spread from person to person through coughs and sneezes. Kansas has reported more than 400 cases of the mumps in Kansas but Sharon Watson of the health department says the measles is more contagious than the mumps.

Sharon Watson: Your chances of getting measles versus mumps if you've not been vaccinated are much higher for measles. You are about three times more likely to get measles if you've not been vaccinated than you would be to get mumps because it is more easily spread and much easier to transmit from person to person than mumps is.

Health officials are urging people to get both of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccination shots if they have not already and at this time do not know if the measles cases are related to the mumps outbreak.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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