The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says the family of the initial two cases of measles reported in Finney County recently traveled internationally.

Currently, six cases of the respiratory virus have been confirmed in Finney County. The virus is relatively rare in the U.S. since most children are vaccinated agaisnt the disease, and the vaccine is required for public schools.

The KDHE says it was notified of the first two measles cases on Jan. 10. State health officials say both cases were within the same family and that the family had recently traveled internationally. KDHE says four additional cases followed, two within the same family and two more with people who had contact with the family.

Finney County health officials say they are working to identify anyone who has been in contact with the infected people and contact them.

Measles is caused by a virus and causes a fever, runny nose, tiredness, cough and a blotchy rash. It is spread through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing. Measles is highly contagious and health experts say any person who is exposed and not immune will probably become infected.

The KDHE recommends anyone who is sick with a fever to stay home except to see a doctor. Children are routinely vaccinated against measles as part of the MMR, or measles, mumps and rubella, vaccine. The first does comes at 12 to 15 months old and the second at 4 to 6 years old.

For questions and concers about potential disease outbreaks, call the KDHE at 1-877-427-7317.