Symptoms of measles include:
Symptoms can start anywhere from 7 to 18 days (but usually about ten days) after a person has been exposed to the virus (incubation period). The rash will begin to fade after about a week. On average, the illness lasts a total of 7‐14 days.
Measles is an airborne virus that is transmitted in tiny droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or breathes. It can survive for 2 hours on infected surfaces or in the air; therefore, it spreads quickly and easily. Measles is contagious 4 days before the rash appears (and one day before the first symptoms appear) until 4 days afterwards.
If you have been exposed and are not immune (through vaccination or previous infection), a vaccine can prevent measles from developing if given within 72 hours of exposure. A blood test can determine your immune status if you do not know it.
If you suspect you or your child has measles, contact a health care provider. Please call ahead and let your health care provider know you suspect measles so precautions can be taken in the office.
Anyone in the infectious stage should stay away from day care, school and work for at least 4 days after the appearance of the rash.
Pregnant women who catch measles have a greater risk of miscarriage, premature delivery, and low birth weight infants. For mothers who have already had measles, their newborn babies are protected for approximately six months by transfer of antibodies from the mother’s immune system.
There is no treatment for this viral illness. Supportive measures can be taken to relieve sore throat, cough and fever.
Immunization prior to exposure is the best defence against infection.
Immunization. Two doses of measles vaccine are given to children after their first birthday to provide optimal protection. Measles vaccine is given in combination with other vaccines. MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine should be administered at 12 months of age and the second dose should be given as MMRV (measles, mumps, rubella, varicella) between four to six years of age preferably prior to school entry.
Some adults may have received only one dose of the vaccine in the past. A second dose of MMR is recommended for young adults (18-25 years), post-secondary students, persons who received killed measles vaccine (1967-1970), health care workers or those who plan to travel internationally. Measles vaccine should not be given to pregnant women.
No. Once someone has had measles they are protected for life.
Contact Oxford County Public Health & Emergency Services:
519-539-9800 ext. 3500 or toll-free at 1-800-755-0394 ext. 3500