Information on Measles - from the Central District Health Department
Measles starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. It's followed by a rash that spreads over the body. Measles virus is highly contagious virus and spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Measles can be prevented with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
The measles outbreak in neighboring areas of Washington and Oregon is ongoing. Public Health urges anyone who has been exposed and believes they have symptoms of measles to call their health care provider prior to visiting the medical office to make a plan that avoids exposing others in the waiting room. People who believe they have symptoms of measles should not go directly to medical offices, urgent care centers or emergency departments (unless experiencing a medical emergency) without calling in advance.
CDHD encourages people to check their immunization records and those of their children to ensure they are up-to-date on their MMR vaccine. If you are unsure about your vaccine status, contact your health care provider or the health department in the state(s) you may have received vaccines in.
Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. 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 (coryza), and red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis). 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. After a few days, the fever subsides and the rash fades.
HOW MEASLES SPREAD
Measles 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 symptoms typically include:
- High fever (may spike to more than 104° F)
- Runny nose
- Red, watery eyes
- Rash breaks out 3-5 days after symptoms begin