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We could learn more as soon as Monday about two suspected cases of measles in Portage County

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PORTAGE COUNTY (WITI) -- We could learn more on Monday, February 16th about two suspected cases of measles being monitored in Portage County.

Tests have been sent to state officials in an effort to determine if, in fact, two people in Portage County have confirmed cases of measles.

Measles has hit 17 states -- and if these cases are confirmed, Wisconsin would be added to that list.

A representative with the Portage County Health and Human Services Department told FOX6 News on Friday the office was swamped with phone calls from people concerned that measles has made its way into Wisconsin.

The two people who have displayed symptoms of measles are in isolation -- staying in their homes, and only having contact with immediate family.

Health officials are again issuing the reminder to be sure you're current on your immunizations.

According to the CDC, measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Measles starts with a fever (as high as 105°), runny nose, cough, red eyes (pink eye), and sore throat, and is followed by a rash that spreads all over the body. About three out of 10 people who get measles will develop one or more complications including pneumonia, ear infections, or diarrhea. People are considered to be contagious from four days before to four days after the rash appears. Measles can be prevented with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.

A representative with the Portage County Health and Human Services Department says there are three important questions asked to determine whether someone may have a suspected case of measles.

"One - do you have a fever? Two - do you have a cough? Three - do you have a rash? And finally, we'll ask you about your immunization status with MMR. If you were to answer 'no,' you would be labeled as a suspected case of measles, and we would ask you to see out care from your medical provider," Gary Garske said.

Again -- we could learn more about the suspected cases of measles in Portage County as early as Monday.

Meanwhile, in Milwaukee this weekend, another free vaccine clinic was held.

"Last week's clinic, we immunized close to 100 people, so we are very encouraged that people are taking this seriously. Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that spreads readily in the community and there are certain segments of the community that are most vulnerable -- children, pregnant woman and the immunosuppressed," Paul Biedrzycki with the Milwaukee Health Department said.

Free flu shots were also offered during the clinic held on Saturday, February 14th.

The Milwaukee Health Department provides immunizations at daily walk-in clinics. No appointment is necessary, and patients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

Immunizations are free to those who are uninsured and children on public insurance such as BadgerCare.

CLICK HERE for the immunization clinic schedule and fee information.


Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this developing story.

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