Measles Outbreak - What You Need to Know

March 27, 2019
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The measles virus is one of the most infectious diseases known. It’s spread through coughing or sneezing and can live up to two hours in the air the infected person left behind.

People who believe they were exposed or develop symptoms are advised to do the following:

  • Call your doctor.
  • Do Not go to the emergency department, urgent care, a walk-in clinic or your doctor’s clinic.

Following these instructions will control the spread of infection.

Symptoms generally appear about seven to 14 days after a person is infected. Common symptoms:

  • High fever.
  • Cough.
  • Runny nose (coryza).
  • Red watery eyes (conjunctivitis).

Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots may appear inside the mouth. Also, a rash breaks out. Measles is highly infectious for four days before and four days after the rash.

Measles can be prevented with the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. It’s a live vaccine given in a two-dose series. People are at risk if they have not had measles or were unvaccinated.

If exposed to someone with measles, unvaccinated people or those without evidence of immunity can be vaccinated within 72 hours of exposure to prevent disease.

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MEDIA CONTACT: David Olejarz / David.Olejarz@hfhs.org / 313.874.4094