The contagious and potentially deadly Measles virus is sweeping across the US.
387 reported cases of Measles in 15 states, according to the Center for Disease Control that number is only rivaled by the 2014 outbreak.
Sara Sparkman, communication director at the Tazewell County Health Department says a vaccination is the best way to stay safe.
“Other countries don’t have the ability to vaccinate everyone like we do,” said Sparkman. “There’s so much more travel now that people are coming to the United States that haven’t been vaccinated and that’s where more people are being exposed.”
Experts say, one infected person can give the virus to 18 people.
“If you as a parent do not want to immunize your child, you are putting your child and really the rest of the community at risk,” said Julie Warner
If you’re unsure if you have the vaccine, contact your health provider.
“Right now we have a system as a healthcare provider,” said Sparkman. “We have a system to keep track, as you’re getting vaccines now you’re being put into that system.”
There’s also another way doctors can check for the vaccine.
“You can get a Titer which is a blood draw and they can test to see what diseases you’ve had,” added Sparkman. “We do those here [at the Tazewell County Health Department] and they can check to see if you’ve had the measles vaccine.”
Several health departments in the area offer Measle’s vaccinations including Tazewell, Peoria, Woodford, Fulton and McLean. To learn more and what services are offered, contact the nearest health department in your county.