There's an emotional whirlwind swirling through Davison County.
Driving it is a very contagious illness called measles.
Tuesday morning, when the South Dakota Department of Health said a child in Davison County contracted the measles, a variety of reactions swept the area.
There was uncertainty.
Because of privacy laws, there wasn't much detailed information given about the situation, which is the first case of the measles in South Dakota since 1997. We found out the infected child is younger than 5, but older than 12 months. That's important, because it means the child is old enough to receive a vaccination to prevent it from getting the virus.
Questions remain, though.
We don't know where in the county the virus was transmitted, and we don't know exactly how many people have come in contact with the infected child. That's concerning.
By Wednesday, health officials announced five more people, all family members of the infected child, had contracted the virus. There wasn't an update Thursday because of the New Year's holiday.
Residents of the county, and nearby area, are wondering exactly how far this will spread.
Rage and anger also set in.
We heard people wonder, exactly, how parents would choose not to protect their child by getting them vaccinated. Why would someone decide not to vaccinate when a shot would prevent them from illness?
Because of that decision, others are now at risk, and that's where the most anger has stemmed from. There is enough sickness that goes around, especially at this time of year with the flu, to have to worry about something that's completely preventable like the measles.
Anxiety also came with the announcement.
What about those children who are younger than 12 months, and still haven't gotten the vaccination? How terrible would it be if an infant who couldn't be vaccinated were to contract measles from a child who could be?
Measles is transmitted by just coughing or sneezing, and can cause permanent brain damage in one in every 1,000 patients and it is fatal in three out of every 1,000 patients. For a young child to potentially be in contact with this virus and that harm are very scary thoughts.
We know there are circumstances that may have prevented this infected child from getting vaccinated, such as allergies or religious beliefs. But we also believe that's an unlikely possibility, and that this whirlwind of emotion was preventable.
When a parent chooses not to vaccinate their child, they're affecting way more people than just their own.
Please, vaccinate your children, for everyone's sake.