How is measles spread?
The measles virus is one of the most infectious agents as it spreads easily through air from an infected person by sneezing or coughing. It is also transmitted by direct contact with fluids from the nose or mouth of an infected person. Measles is very contagious and can live up to two hours on surfaces or in the air. 90% of people who come in contact with measles will become infected if they are not immune.
What are the symptoms of measles?
The most recognizable symptom of measles is a very high fever accompanied by a red or brownish blotchy rash.
3-5 days before the rash appears, children with measles develop cold-like symptoms, including:
Red, watery eyes
These symptoms tend to get worse during the first 1 to 3 days of the illness. Many other viruses have the above symptoms and are NOT measles.
Severe Complications of measles infections include pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE). This is a very rare, but fatal disease of the central nervous system that results from a measles virus infection acquired earlier in life. About 1 out 4 people who get measles will be hospitalized. For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it. Measles may cause pregnant woman to give birth prematurely, or have a low-birth-weight baby.
Since we have no evidence of an outbreak in our vicinity, currently there is no indication to give the measles vaccine to children who have not yet received either their first dose (under 12 months of age) or their second dose (12months-4yrs).
If we have a measles outbreak, we will update our website and encourage you to be in touch with us and our local health department for updates. See the link below from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
If you are concerned your child may have been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of measles, reach out to us prior to coming to clinic so we can provide the best care to your child and reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Courtney Dudley, MD
Franchesca Estrada, MD