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Benton County Public Health Director and Virginia Gay Hospital Director of Home Health, Melissa Smith, RN, BSN is making the public aware of information recently released regarding a measles case in the state of Iowa.

Over the weekend, through testing from the State Hygienic Lab, a Northeastern Iowan was confirmed to be infected with measles. The individual was unvaccinated and recently returned from Israel, where measles transmission is occurring.

The individual has cooperated with public health officials. Public health officials are following up with potentially exposed persons to ensure they are vaccinated against measles; however, at this time there is no indication there is any threat to the public.

This is the first case of measles in Iowa since 2011, and it serves as a reminder for all Iowans to ensure their vaccinations are up-to-date. Vaccines prevent diseases and save lives.

The Iowa Department of Public Health has an infographic depicting what Iowans should know about the measles. If you think you might have the measles stay home until you are able to see your health care provider. It is important to call your health care provider and tell them you may have the measles. They will instruct you on how to be seen safely as you should not sit in the waiting room or come through the main entrance. The risk is that if you do have measles, anyone in that area who is not vaccinated, for instance, babies, will get sick.

If you have questions or concerns regarding vaccines and vaccination schedules for your family, your best resource is your primary health care provider. Learn more about the providers in all the Virginia Gay family medical clinics located in Benton County by visiting,

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