Measles cases in the U.S. have hit a 15 year high according to the CDC and now the Indiana State Department of Health has confirmed five cases up in Noble County.

Nearly all the cases can be traced to outbreaks overseas in countries like India and France, including those in Indiana.

"In this case it was an Indiana resident, who was not immunized, who visited that area then returned to the United States and was inflicted with Measles," said State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin M.D.

Measles Symptoms start three to five days after exposure with a rash that appears at the hairline and a fever. Within 7-14 days the rash spreads across the body, the fever can get up to 105 degrees and those infected can experience coughing, runny nose, red watery eyes and spots can form inside the mouth.
After two weeks, the rash most often begins to fade but doctors say the disease is serious and can be deadly.

"In a developed country like ours, with all that we have available to us, we still will lose one in every thousand people who get this disease," said Dr. Martin Kleiman, who specializes in Pediatric Infectious Disease for Riley at IU Health.

Despite the potential danger Dr. Kleiman says the important thing parents need to know is that protecting their children is easy.

"We can prevent this almost uniformally with a simple vaccine," Kleiman said.

Even though just two doses of the MMR vaccine during childhood can prevent Measles for life, many parents in Europe fueled recent outbreaks after opted their children out of the vaccines because of concern about potential side effects.

Now doctors hope parents in the United States realize the importance of safeguarding against the disease.

"With this illness, the risks and benefits are very, very much in favor of that vaccine," Dr. Kleiman said. "And the risks to the vaccine are negligible."