Measles is a highly contagious viral disease transmitted person to person by direct contact or airborne by droplet spread. It is a serious illness that causes permanent brain damage in 1 in every 1,000 patients and is fatal in 2-3 of every 1,000 patients. The best protection is the measles vaccine (MMR). For full protection, two doses of the vaccine are recommended, the first at 12 months and a second by age four. Two doses of the MMR vaccine are required for students entering schools, day care and college in South Dakota.
In late 2014 South Dakota reported its first case of measles since 1997; that outbreak was centered in Mitchell and totaled 13 cases, all of whom were unvaccinated. On January 24, 2015 another case was reported, an unvaccinated Sioux Falls child younger than 10; the case was not known to be connected to the Mitchell outbreak.
The Department of Health encourages everyone to check their immunization records and make sure they are up to date.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Resources