Officials in Kansas said on Tuesday, March 13, that three children at a child care facility have tested positive for measles.
Measles kills tens of thousands of people around the world every year but deaths and even cases are rare in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control said that through February 24 of this year, 13 people were reported to have measles.
The number of cases in the country is typically below 200 and in some years dips below 100, although there were 667 cases in 2014 after a large outbreak in Amish communities in Ohio. Travelers from the Philippines also brought the virus with them.
“Measles is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa,” the agency stated.
“Travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S. Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated.”
The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment said the three children who have contracted measles in Kansas are all under one year old and have not yet been vaccinated. Children are typically vaccinated when they are at least 12 months of age.
BREAKING: 3 babies in Johnson County diagnosed with measles. All under age of 1. The babies and other children possibly affected have been excluded from the involved child care facility for the next 21 days. A health dept investigation is ongoing
— Shain Bergan (@ShainKCTV) March 13, 2018
The children will be excluded from the facility for 21 days, reported Fox4.
“If your child has a fever, keep them home except to see a healthcare provider,” said a spokesperson for the department of health and environment. “If you need to visit your healthcare provider, call ahead so appropriate measures can be taken to protect other patients and staff.”
Symptoms include a fever, coughing, red and watery eyes, and blotchy rashes on the skin.
Measles is spread through the air by coughing, sneezing, or breathing.
The symptoms of measles typically begin one to two weeks after someone is exposed to an infected person.
“Vaccination is the best way to prevent measles in children and adults,” Health Director Lougene Marsh told the Kansas City Star.