RIVERSIDE, Iowa (KCRG) - A Riverside woman said she thought she was already immune to the measles virus until a recent visit to her doctor's office.
Moriah Delp said she got her first MMR shot as a kid and didn't think she'd need a follow up. Now, she's urging other people to go get checked, too just in case, as the virus turned into an outbreak this year.
The virus is now in 23 states, including Iowa, Missouri and Illinois. Most of the cases have been linked to children who are not vaccinated.
"I was shocked. I called my mom and said 'Happy Mother's Day...I'm not immune to measles," said Delp.
Delp lives and works as a physical therapist in Riverside.
She said she paid a visit to her doctor last Friday at her mom's suggestion.
"I don't want to be a carrier before I develop symptoms and pass it on to somebody else," said Delp. "I work with a lot of Amish patients and a lot of Amish children so I'm exposed to people who may or may not have a vaccine."
Linn County Public Health Clinical Services Branch Supervisor Heather Meador said something like this does not usually happen. It doesn't mean that it can't, nor that there aren't special cases.
"They think about a million doses of the inactive vaccine had been around from 1963 to 1968 so there's a chance that a portion of the population received a portion of this inactive vaccine," said Meador.
Meador said children should get their first MMR shot when they are as young as 12 months. The second shot usually happens when they are four to six years old. Meador said anyone traveling internationally absolutely needs to be up to date on the Measles vaccine. If not, Meador said an outbreak is completely possible in eastern Iowa.
"It could happen anytime," said Meador. "I'm sure Washington State, New York were not expecting to have a measles outbreak. Measles was declared eliminated, however again we have many countries out there where measles has not been eliminated. It's still an epidemic."
"Be proactive," said Delp. "I understand vaccines are a very controversial topic but do your research."
Delp said, despite your personal beliefs, there are a lot of risks to take if you don't vaccinate.
"It's great as a parent to take care of your children but we don't think as adults are we up to date in our vaccines? Have we kept up? We talk about the Tetanus shot every ten years but have we kept up with the other vaccines?"