Worried Knoxville parents vaccinating early amid East TN measles case

Local News

The state health department is still working to investigate a case of measles in a resident of East Tennessee and notify hundreds of people who may have been exposed to him.

More: Customers at Clinton, Chattanooga convenience stores possibly exposed to measles

Health officials say people who were at Speedway, 2148 N. Charles G. Seivers Boulevard in Clinton, on April 12 between 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., or Mapco, 200 Browns Ferry Road in Chattanooga, on April 11 between 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. may have been exposed.

Anyone who visited either of those locations should check their vaccination status and locate their immunization records.

Related: 6 things you need to know about measles

A number of parents in Knoxville are concerned about this illness and as a precaution, they say they’re vaccinating their little ones earlier than planned to keep them safe from measles.

Every day is a little different with 14-month-old Bruce Brown. His mom, Jillian Brown, says on Tuesday they went to his pediatrician. 

“I’m worried something will happen to him,” she said.

The Browns are especially worried about the potential of Bruce catching measles before he gets vaccinated.

“His appointment isn’t until June and I said, ‘We need to go ahead and get that to protect him,'” said Brown.

The CDC recommends kids get two shots of the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. The first dose at 12 to 15 months old and the second dose at 4 to 6 years old.

“If they’re concerned, if they’re wanting to know do we go ahead and get the baby vaccinated, just have a conversation with your pediatrician. Talk about where their baby is, what they’re concerned about,” said Dr. Martha Buchanan, director of the Knox County Health Department.

One dose is about 93 percent effective in preventing measles according to the CDC.

“Because measles is so contagious, we don’t want you to just show up at the ER or just show up at your doctor’s office. Either call public health, call your doctor or the ER before you go so they can be prepared,” said Dr. Buchanan.

“My mama heart is much much better knowing that he’s protected,” added Brown.

Physicians in Knoxville say people need to be aware, check their vaccine history and pay attention to the symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • White spots in the mouth
  • Red, spotty rash which begins on the face and spreads to the body
  • Symptoms may develop any time in the 21 days following exposure to the illness

The Knox County Health Department says the person who’s involved in this measles case does not live in Knox County.

If you have questions, a hotline has been set up at (865) 549-5343 to answer questions about measles.

On Saturday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., there will be a group rallying in objection to mandatory vaccines at Maryville City Hall.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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