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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota has its first case of measles since 1997.
The state Health Department says the case is in an unvaccinated Davison County child who is younger than 5 years old. The department is working to identify people who might have been exposed to the case.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that can cause permanent brain damage or even death. It's spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people or, less frequently, by airborne transmission.
State Epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger says measles is on the rise nationally, and he encourages South Dakota residents to make sure immunizations are up to date.
Childhood vaccine providers: http://doh.sd.gov/local-offices/
Health Department measles site: http://doh.sd.gov/diseases/infectious/diseasefacts/Measles.aspx
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