Measles case reported in Tennessee

Someone in Tennessee is sick with measles — the first case of that illness here in three years, according to state health officials.

The patient is an adult who had traveled abroad, the Tennessee Department of Health said. The agency did not identify the patient but said people known to have close contact have been vaccinated against the disease.

"We have done our standard contact investigation during which we identify anyone who may have been in close contact with this patient and at risk of exposure to the illness," said Shelley Walker, a spokeswoman for the state health department. "We contact anyone in need of testing and/or treatment to make sure they do so. I am told the patient was not infectious while traveling."

The agency is not releasing the patient's county of residence to protect privacy, she said. The patient is recovering at home after a brief hospitalization.

More cases of measles are occurring in the United States so far this year than at any other time in the past 20 years. Although the disease was officially eradicated in this country in 2000, illnesses still occur when people become infected while traveling overseas and then spread the highly communicable disease.

"Anyone who is planning foreign travel should talk with his or her health-care provider about immunizations to make sure to stay healthy," said State Health Commissioner Dr. John Dreyzehner.


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