Heightened concern when flu mimics measles

Local News

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — With the recent report of a case of measles in the county, doctors say more people are being tested.

The first positive report was last week. It exposed the infection at several locations in Champaign-Urbana. Other people are being tested, but so far, no one else has come up positive.

In general, you’re only contagious with the measles for ten days. You’re most contagious when you’re coughing, sneezing and have the rash and fever. But, this time of year, illness isn’t uncommon.

Coughing, sneezing, runny nose: Signs of being sick. In Champaign County, it could be several things.

“With the measles outbreak, even if you don’t have the rash and you have a fever and coughing, the flu can mimic that, the probably be a good idea to get tested.”

One person was reported to have the measles, exposing it to several locations in the area last week.

Doctors say there are more people being tested for the airborne disease. It’s not the only thing being tested for.

“Right now, the flu is widespread. It’s still a concern.”

Even then, you could be misled. Dr. Ben Johnston says, if you get tested for the flu and get a negative, it could be false.

“If you have the symptoms, those people need to be treated. That’s what the CDC recommends and I’m going to stick to my guns on that.”

A dangerous windchill is hitting the area Wednesday, but can you get sick from it?

“If you’re my grandmother, yes. She’ll tell you that. My own personal feeling is, I don’t think there’s any documented evidence to suggest that. It’s an old wives’ tale.”

He says the reason people get sick isn’t from the weather.

“The reason you tend to see an increase of infections when it’s cold outside is people tend to go when they’re close together. What will happen is you suddenly have a whole bunch of people coughing in a room. It’ll spread and that’s what happens.”

It’s supposed to be below zero Wednesday. Since you’re being told to stay inside, be safe about it. Make sure to wash your hands and stay hydrated.

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