All About Measles

| Posted On Apr 02, 2019 | By:

Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Signs and Symptoms

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

Measles typically begins with

Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik 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

Transmission of Measles

Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing. Also, measles virus can live for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed. If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch the infected surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.

Infected people can spread measles to others from four days before through four days after the rash appears.

Measles is a disease of humans; measles virus is not spread by any other animal species.

Q: I’ve been exposed to someone who has measles. What should I do?

A: Immediately call your doctor and let him or her know that you have been exposed to someone who has measles. Your doctor can

If you are not immune to measles, MMR vaccine or a medicine called immune globulin may help reduce your risk developing measles. Your doctor can help to advise you, and monitor you for signs and symptoms of measles.

If you do not get MMR or immune globulin, you should stay away from settings where there are susceptible people (such as school, hospital, or childcare) until your doctor says it’s okay to return. This will help ensure that you do not spread it to others.

Q: I think I have measles. What should I do?

A: Immediately call your doctor and let him or her know about your symptoms you are having. Your doctor can

Q: Am I protected against measles?

A: CDC considers you protected from measles if you have written documentation (records) showing at least one of the following:

Q: What should I do if I’m unsure whether I’m immune to measles?

A: If you’re unsure whether you’re immune to measles, you should first try to find your vaccination records or documentation of measles immunity. If you do not have written documentation of measles immunity, you should get vaccinated with measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. Another option is to have a doctor test your blood to determine whether you’re immune. But this option is likely to cost more and will take two doctor’s visits. There is no harm in getting another dose of MMR vaccine if you may already be immune to measles (or mumps or rubella).

For more information about the measles, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, https://www.cdc.gov/measles/.

Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory DiseasesDivision of Viral Diseases

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