With the announcement of a confirmed case of measles in a Sioux Falls resident, the Sioux Falls Health Department is urging people to double check and make sure that their MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccination is up to date.

A measles outbreak that started last December has infected at least 84 people in 14 states.

Measles is one of the most infectious viruses in existence. It will infect 90 percent of susceptible people if they are exposed.

The airborne virus can also remain in the air for hours, infecting people if they are in the same vicinity as someone who is ill. For every person who gets it, the virus can spread to 18 other people.

Dr. Jennifer Tinguely, Chief Medical Officer for the Sioux Falls Health Department, tells us,

We need to recognize the importance of immunizations for everyone and to make sure that children in particular are protected with all of the vaccinations they need.

Ensuring children receive all of the vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is one of the most important things parents can do to protect the health of their children and the community.

Children should receive two doses of MMR vaccine. The first dose is typically given at 12 to 15 months of age and the second dose is typically given between 4 and 6 years of age.

Adults who were born after 1956 may need to get at least one dose of MMR vaccine unless they have been vaccinated or have had the disease.

Immunizations for adults and children are available by appointment at Falls Community Health, the Sioux Falls Health Department’s public health clinic, by calling 605-367-8793.