Minnesota health officials are warning of a case of measles in southeastern Minnesota. The Department of Health has learned that someone from out of state with confirmed measles traveled through Minnesota and may have exposed individuals at two separate locations on two different days.

The first was on April 13th at a McDonald’s Restaurant in Winona between 12:30 and 4 p.m. That person also visited the Freeborn County Co-op gas station in Albert Lea on April 16th between 9:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Anyone at either of these locations at these specific times is being warned to watch for symptoms of measles and check their vaccination status.

According to the Mayo Clinic, measles signs and symptoms appear 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Signs and symptoms of measles typically include:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background found inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek — also called Koplik’s spots
  • A skin rash made up of large, flat blotches that often flow into one another

A Mayo Clinic doctor said vaccination against the illness is important. Pediatrician Dr. Nusheen Ameenuddin says it’s one of the most infectious viruses seen, “So, if you have a room of 100 people who are not protected, if one person with the measles comes in and coughs 90 percent will likely get sickened with the measles.”

Ameenuddin said she battles misconceptions about vaccinating against measles frequently. “It’s something that I face almost every day, or at least weekly in clinic, dispelling myths about vaccines,” she explained. “And the truth of the matter is that they are one of the most amazing public health innovations we’ve had in the last several decades.”

Among those misconceptions, that measles isn’t a serious illness. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, complications occur in about 30 percent of measles cases and can lead to severe infection, blindness, and even death. Another is the myth that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine causes autism. The scientist that made that claim in 1998 was found to have falsified data in his study. Andrew Wakefield’s license to practice medicine in the U.K. was revoked after the discovery.

The state health department said outbreak in Minnesota last year sickened 79 people, most of them children under age 10. In 71 cases, the patient had not been vaccinated, and 64 of the illnesses were in the Somali community. According to the C.D.C. there were just 39 other cases in the U.S. in 2017.