OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Rene Sandifer of Overland Park is taking the Johnson County Health Department's warning about measles very seriously. From personal experience, Sandifer understands that parents and doctors should know the warning signs of measles.
Twenty-four years ago, Sandifer's daughter Hope became sick. Sandifer took her daughter to the hospital three times; but three times the same doctor told her it was just a virus.
"Doctors then had never seen measles and it was not on their radar," she said.
Finally, her daughter was so sick that she had to take her to the emergency room.
"The emergency room nurse opened Hope's mouth and said, 'Look at those bumps, this is measles,'" Sandifer said.
Years ago, the guidelines were different on vaccinations. Hope was too young to be vaccinated and was somehow exposed to the virus. Now, the guidelines recommend vaccinating your child against measles starting at 12 months old.
"If you have not had your child vaccinated, please, please get your child vaccinated because you could be saving their life. I almost lost my daughter and I'm so grateful to God that he used doctors to heal her," Sandifer said.
So far this year, there have been 13 confirmed cases of measles in the Kansas City area. The symptoms are fever, red rash, runny nose and a cough. Some patients experience trouble breathing. Anyone with those symptoms should be taken to the doctor immediately.