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Iowa Schools Monitoring Kids After Measles Case Found in Metro

DES MOINES, Iowa -- After the Iowa Department of Public Health made it known that an individual with measles visited two metro restaurants, Iowans are taking notice.

Camille Calderon says even though her son is vaccinated against the measles, she's still unnerved that the disease was found in the metro.

“I checked to see if I still had my vaccination or had that done too. It's still nerve-wracking to just think about the symptoms and to keep an eye out for them as well even if he is vaccinated as well” said Calderon.

She says she remembers what it was like when her child was too young for the vaccine.

“It was scary knowing, especially thinking about new parents now who have new kids. I saw on Facebook someone was nervous because their kids weren't vaccinated yet” said Calderon.

Iowa Public Schools says right now, they're not overly concerned, but are paying attention.

“Our piece is just surveillance, just to be aware, and if we had a concern we would certainly be talking to the parents and then to the doctor’s office” said Diane Gladson, Health Services Supervisor for IPSD.

Schools are given a report from the Iowa Department of Public Health anytime an infectious disease like the measles pops up.  The Department of Public Health says they are alerted when a doctor diagnoses the disease. They then are put in contact with the patient, so they can track where they have been and who they may have come in contact with.

“When you've got somebody like this who's exposed people it can be 21 days before somebody starts showing symptoms” said Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, Medical Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Experts say the disease itself has been eradicated in America, meaning no cases originate here. Travelers coming back into the country would be the ones carrying it. Nurses say even though the likelihood of being exposed to it low, why take the chance with a serious disease?

“You could die, I mean that's worst cases scenario but it's certainly a very serious disease and why we want everyone to be vaccinated” said Gladson.

Early symptoms of measles include swelling of the eyes and nose plus a cough. Experts say if you believe you have symptoms, stay home and call a doctor.