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ABC News Photo Illustration, Adapted from the LexisNexis StateNet Database and the Immunization Action Coalition, May 2019 (ABC News)(ATLANTA) -- Cobb County, a suburban part of Atlanta, Georgia, confirmed a case of measles in an unvaccinated person, according to state health officials.

The individual may have exposed others to the infectious disease between Oct. 31 and Nov. 6, health officials said Saturday.

The case is the latest in what's been an explosive year for measles, with more than 1,250 cases reported in 30 states as of early October, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Measles, which is highly infectious, is characterized by symptoms like fever and a blotchy skin rash, according to the Mayo Clinic, and is spread by coughing, sneezing and close personal contact with people who have the disease.

Although in high-income countries, such as the United States, deaths from measles are relatively uncommon, the disease is a major killer worldwide. In 2017, there were 110,000 deaths linked to measles around the world, primarily among kids younger than 5, the World Health Organization reports.

Two new studies published last month also indicate that having measles can do long-term damage to the immune system.

In the wake of major outbreaks around the country, state are reconsidering rules about childhood vaccines. In June, New York State eliminated non-religious exemptions for vaccination, making it the fifth state in the nation to do so. Now all kids who attend school or daycare in the state must be vaccinated.

Forty five states -- including Georgia -- continue to permit religious exemptions for vaccination and 15 states still allow for personal belief exemptions for childhood vaccines.

In Georgia, after confirming the measles case in Cobb County, health department officials advised local residents to contact their doctor immediately if they think they have symptoms of measles.

"DO NOT go to the doctor’s office, the hospital, or a public health clinic without FIRST calling to let them know about your symptoms," the department said in a statement.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: CJC
Posted: November 11, 2019, 5:31 pm

Davizro/iStock(NEW YORK) -- A 13-year-old Broadway actress, Laurel Griggs, has died after an apparently fatal asthma attack.

Laurel appeared in the Tony award-winning show, Once. The musical shared news of the star's passing in a Facebook post Saturday.

"This beautiful young lady was part of our Once family. Please keep her family in your prayers."

Laurel's grandfather, David Rivlin announced her death on Facebook Nov. 6.

"It’s with heavy heart that I have to share some very sad news. My beautiful and talented granddaughter, Laurel Griggs, has passed away suddenly from a massive asthma attack. Mount Sinai was valiant in trying to save her but now she’s with the angels," Rivlin wrote.

Dr. Jennifer Ashton told Good Morning America that although asthma is a common lung condition, it can potentially be serious and in some cases, fatal.

"It's characterized by inflammation and narrowing of the passageways in our lung," Ashton said, adding that asthma can cause the following symptoms: wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and cough.

In some cases, Aston explained, asthma can lower blood oxygen levels.

Ashton said Laurel most likely died from severe asthma exacerbation, which can happen when a person does not respond to traditional treatments. The condition can last for hours and can become fatal once someone's oxygen levels drop beyond a certain point.

"We do have to remember though, still, it's rare," Ashton said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are over 6 million children under the age of 18 living with asthma. In 2017, 185 children died from asthma, the CDC reports.

How do parents know if an asthma attack is serious enough for an emergency room visit?

1. If your child stops talking to catch their breath.

2. They use their abdominal muscles to breathe.

3. They widen their nostrils when breathing in.

4. If you see a blue-ish tint to the lips or nail beds, that is an emergency.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Author: CJC
Posted: November 11, 2019, 3:24 pm

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