July 17, 2014

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Possible Public Exposure Point to Measles Identified at another Wichita Restaurant

New measles case in restaurant employee reported in Sedgwick County

Wichita, Kan. -- The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Sedgwick County Health Department (SCHD) identified another possible exposure to measles from a Wichita restaurant. An employee at Sumo by Nambara was reported as a new measles case, and public health officials have determined this employee worked during the infectious period, which can occur before symptoms begin.

Due to the concern of transmission to the public, health officials are requesting anyone who dined at Sumo by Nambara, 11233 E. 13th St. N. in Wichita, on July 11 and 12, and later developed an illness with fever and rash, to contact their health care provider or the Sedgwick County Health Department at 316-660-7424. Health care providers who have questions should call SCHD or the Kansas Department of Health and Environment at 877-427-7317.

Measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. With the creation of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, measles cases have generally been rare in the United States; however, it still sickens approximately 20 million and kills 164,000 people worldwide each year. There has been a resurgence of measles cases in the United States in 2014. From January 1, 2014 through July 11, 2014, 566 confirmed measles cases have been reported in 20 states. This is the highest number of cases since indigenous measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000.

"The best way to keep from getting the disease is by being vaccinated. Protect children by making sure they have the MMR vaccine when they are 12 to 15 months old, and again before they enter kindergarten," said Robert Moser, M.D., KDHE Secretary and State Health Officer. "Most adults born in 1957 or later who have not been vaccinated against measles and have never had the disease are also recommended to receive the MMR vaccine," Moser said.

Measles is highly contagious and is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. The signs and symptoms of measles typically begin one to two weeks after someone is exposed to an infected person. Symptoms include:

"If you have a fever, stay home except to see a health care provider. If you need to visit your healthcare provider, call ahead so appropriate measures can be taken to protect other patients and staff," said Adrienne Byrne-Lutz, SCHD Interim Director.

People at high risk for severe illness and complications from measles include infants and children aged <5 years, adults aged >20 years, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems.

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