5 measles cases reported in area over past 2 months, 2 recently in Johnson County, Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A measles outbreak that began in Missouri has crossed state lines and into Johnson County.

So far, five measles cases have been confirmed in the last two months. The first was an infant in Clay County who'd returned from an overseas trip. The child's mother and sibling were also infected.

On Friday, the Johnson County Health Department confirmed one child and one adult have also been infected.

Philip Abraham has seen what measles can do to children.

"Those kids could get really sick, so I would hate to see any of our patients or any of our children with a disease such as that which could easily have been prevented," he said.

The virus is highly contagious, spreading through sneezing, coughing even just breathing.
Symptoms include a fever, runny nose  and rash and develop slowly.

"Without symptoms, this virus can sort of replicate itself in the body and you can have it without even knowing that you carry it," said Abraham.

It could be weeks before you notice a person's been infected and by then could have exposed others.

Abraham encourages parents to vaccinate their children, however, he doesn't think this is cause for panic.

"Don't be alarmed over every sniffle," he said.

On average, children will get around 10 viruses per year.

Abraham admits the measles are different than the more common illnesses.

"Measles on the senses, their complication,  especially, on really young children, can get a lot worse real quickly as opposed to others," he said.

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