BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Four Mississippians remain under home quarantine after being exposed to the measles in Tennessee. No cases have been confirmed in Mississippi, but the Mississippi State Department of Health is closely monitoring the exposed individuals.
Officials say the four who were exposed to the measles in Shelby County, Tennessee, were not vaccinated against the virus.
"This is why getting and remaining up to date on vaccinations is critically important," said State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs.
The MSDH is strongly recommending that anyone 12 months of age or older who is behind on measles vaccinations, or who hasn't been vaccinated at all, see their primary healthcare provider immediately.
According to the health department, people can get sick up to 21 days after exposure to measles. Symptoms include high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and a rash.
"The measles is a potentially deadly virus that is a highly contagious, airborne disease and is easily spread from person to person," Dr. Dobbs said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the measles resurfaced in America last year at Disneyland. Since then, a total of 163 measles cases in 18 states and the District of Columbia have been reported to the CDC.
The state of Mississippi continues to have the highest immunization rate among school aged children in the country, due to the strict vaccination laws in the state.