Measles - What You Should Know
General information regarding measles:
What is it? Measles (aka Rubeola) is a highly contagious virus. It will infect nine out of 10 non-immunized who get exposed. It typically affects children. The illness begins on average 14 days after exposure.
Symptoms - cough, runny nose, red eyes, spots in the mouth along with a rash that spreads from head to toe and includes the palms and soles. Fever associated with illness starts 10 to 14 days after exposure, is 101 degrees F or higher, lasts for three to five days, then improves along with the rash improving at a similar time.
Contagious period - four days before rash appears until four days after rash appearance
Transmission route - secretions from the mouth/throat or nose usually spread by coughing or sneezing. The virus can also remain airborne for up to two hours in a closed space.
Diagnosis - usually clinical (by symptoms and patient history), but, to confirm the disease a blood test must be drawn.
Treatment - supportive care. This means fluids, fever reducers, pain control, rest and TLC.
Prevention - vaccination. First vaccine (confers approximately 94 to 98% immunity) given at 12 months old, booster (confers 99% immunity) given at four years old.
Possible exposure - A person who was potentially exposed and is experiencing symptoms a fever of 101 F or higher, cough, runny nose and red eyes with or without rash, should call the Department of Public Health as well as their healthcare provider. These individuals should not go to their doctor’s office or the emergency room as they could infect others around them.