A Message from the CDC Regarding Measles

From The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

There have been multiple outbreaks of measles in the U.S. So far this year there have been 555 cases recorded in 20 states.

Measles is highly contagious and spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 9 of 10 people around them will also become infected if they are not protected.

The virus can cause serious health complications, such as pneumonia or encephalitis, and even death.

CDC continues to encourage parents to get their children vaccinated on schedule with the MMR vaccine.

Signs and symptoms

The symptoms of measles generally appear about seven to 14 days after a person is infected.

Measles typically begins with high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes

Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots may appear inside the mouth.

Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out. It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline

and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. Small raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots.

The spots may become joined together as they spread from the head to the rest of the body.

When the rash appears, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104° Fahrenheit.

I think I have measles. What should I do?
Immediately call your doctor and let him or her know about your symptoms you are having. Your doctor can

  • determine if you are immune to measles based on your vaccination record or if you had measles in the past, and
  • make special arrangements to evaluate you, if needed, without putting other patients and medical office staff at risk.

My doctor or someone from the health department told me that I have measles. What should I do?
If you have measles, you should stay home for four days after you develop the rash. Staying home is an important way to not spread measles to other people. Talk to your doctor to discuss when it is safe to return.

You should also:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and put your used tissue in the trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoid sharing drinks or eating utensils.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys, doorknobs, tables, counters.

Call your doctor is you are concerned about your symptoms.

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