Richmond student with measles? Review underway

Measles not confirmed.

RICHMOND – Measles may have infected a Richmond School District student, but maybe not, Ray County Health Department Administrator Shelby Spor told the County Commission.

“I had not heard that,” Commissioner Allen Dale said at Friday’s meeting.

On Monday, Spor gave an update.

“We do not have a confirmed case of measles,” she said.

A case of measles in infectious, but there are no reports that the one potential case in Richmond resulted in any other students being infected, Spor said.

A rumor circulated on social media that a case of measles had been confirmed, Spor said. The report is incorrect.

“It’s being investigated,” Spor told commissioners.

Rumors can cause unnecessary anxiety.

“Everyone goes into a state of panic,” Spor said.

“There’s a lot of people out there that are scared to death they’re going to get it,” Presiding Commissioner Bob King said.

Richmond School District Assistant Superintendent Brock Dover on Thursday distributed a districtwide letter stating a Sunrise Elementary School student displayed measles symptoms a week earlier, received an immunization and a laboratory report suggested the possible presence of measles.

“Although there is a positive lab report, the clinical manifestation of symptom does not align with a measles case,” the letter stated.

Fox News reported the record measles outbreak across the nation is “fueled by anti-vaccination propaganda.”

The present measles outbreak is the largest in 25 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated, with more than 700 cases across 22 states, including Missouri, reported by April 30.

“Measles can be serious in all age groups. However, children younger than age 5 and adults older than 20 years of age are more likely to suffer from measles complications,” based on CDC information, which includes a description of what can occur in the most severe cases. “Some people may suffer from severe complications, such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs) and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). They may need to be hospitalized and could die.” 

There is nothing to suggest the CDC description applies to the suspected case in Ray County. Many cases of measles produce mild symptoms.

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