Wisconsin officials warn of possible measles exposure

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — County health departments in western Wisconsin are warning people about recent potential exposure to measles.

The La Crosse and Trempealeau county health departments were notified this month that an out-of-state visitor had measles in its contagious stage, the La Crosse Tribune reported.

The departments contacted places in La Crosse, Onalaska, and Galesville that may have been exposed to the disease. Officials will try contacting people who may have visited those places during the exposure period to inform them about symptoms and determine if they're at risk. Sites include a Comfort Inn, a Dollar Tree, St. Mary's Catholic Church, Champions Riverside Resort, a Fairfield Inn and a Texas Roadhouse.

"If someone has been potentially exposed and has signs consistent with measles, it is important they stay isolated from others to keep from spreading it," said Jen Rombalski, director of the La Crosse County Health Department.

Measles is a serious respiratory disease that can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus can linger in the air for up to two hours. Symptoms include a high fever, cough, runny nose, red and watery eyes and a rash. People who are pregnant, infants and those who haven't been vaccinated are most at risk.

"Measles is extremely contagious, and you can have very severe outcomes," Rombalski said. "For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it.

The measles vaccine is 93 percent effective after one dose, and becomes 97 percent effective after two doses.

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