• Introduction:

    What is measles?

    Measles is very contagious and can cause serious illness. Measles is caused by a virus and spreads very easily when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes. Measles spreads so easily that anyone who is exposed and not immune (either by being immunized or having had measles in the past) will probably get it.

Measles

What is measles?

Measles is very contagious and can cause serious illness. Measles is caused by a virus and spreads very easily when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes. Measles spreads so easily that anyone who is exposed and not immune (either by being immunized or having had measles in the past) will probably get it.

Measles

 

Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent measles. And when enough people get vaccinated against measles, the entire community is less likely to get it.

Public Health’s Communicable Disease Reporting program is contacting individuals who were contacts of the case to offer guidance, review their measles vaccination status, and to provide information about signs and symptoms of measles, and appropriate quarantine.

The facts:

  • Measles is very contagious. The measles virus can live for up to two hours in the air after an infected person leaves the room. Nine out of 10 unvaccinated people who are exposed to measles will become infected.
  • The measles vaccine provides good protection. One dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine provides 93% protection against measles and two doses provide 97% protection.
  • Most of the contacted individuals have been fully vaccinated and are at low risk for infection. All exposed individuals will need to monitor for measles symptoms for 21 days.
  • If infected, symptoms may not occur right away. Symptoms include high fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes, and a rash beginning 3-5 days after other symptoms occur. Those experiencing symptoms should avoid contact with others and seek care from a healthcare provider. Notify the provider before arrival that you have a measles concern, so that further spread can be prevented.
  • Quarantine is needed for those individuals who were exposed and do not have documentation of vaccination or immunity to measles. People infected with measles can spread it to others, even before they have symptoms.

Vaccination reduces the risk of infection and severe disease. Measles can be serious, and about 1 in 5 people who get infected with measles will be hospitalized with complications such as pneumonia, dehydration, or brain swelling.

All Montgomery County residents who are not vaccinated, or unsure if they are vaccinated for measles, should talk to their healthcare provider about vaccination.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. MMR vaccine is also recommended for adults who are not vaccinated, or whose vaccination status is unknown.

The MMR vaccine is safe and effective with hundreds of millions of doses given. Contact your health care provider to get vaccinated. In addition, Public Health provides MMR vaccinations at its clinic located in the Reibold Building, 117 S. Main St. in downtown Dayton. To schedule an appointment, call 937-225-4550, Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.


Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent measles. When you and your family get vaccinated, you help keep yourselves and your community healthy.

What to do if you were exposed to the measles.

Are there measles outbreaks in the U.S.?

There have been outbreaks in the United States. You can protect your family with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Everyone 12 months of age and older should be up to date with MMR.

What are the symptoms of measles?

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Rash that starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body

People can spread measles before they show symptoms. Symptoms usually last 7-10 days.

 
Vaccination Record Request

Frequently Asked Questions

Measles is very contagious and can cause serious illness. Measles is caused by a virus and spreads very easily when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes. Measles spreads so easily that anyone who is exposed and not immune (either by being immunized or having had measles in the past) will probably get it.

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Pink eye (red, watery eyes)
  • Rash all over the body starting on the face and spreading throughout the body

People can spread measles before they show symptoms. Symptoms usually last 7-10 days.

Measles is diagnosed by a combination of the patient’s symptoms and by laboratory tests.

It takes an average of 10–12 days from exposure to the first symptom, which is usually fever. The measles rash doesn’t usually appear until approximately 14 days after exposure, 2–3 days after the fever begins.

The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is very safe, effective and the best protection against measles. Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles. One dose is about 93% effective.

Measles can be a serious disease, with 30% of reported cases experiencing one or more complications. Death from measles occurs in 2 to 3 per 1,000 reported cases in the United States. Complications from measles are more common among very young children (younger than five years), adults (older than 20 years), pregnant people, and people with weakened immune systems.

Diarrhea is the most common complication of measles (occurring in 8% of cases), especially in young children. Ear infections occur in 7% of reported cases. Pneumonia, occurring in 6% of reported cases, accounts for 60% of measles-related deaths. About 1 out of 1,000 cases will develop acute encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain. This serious complication can lead to permanent brain damage. Measles during pregnancy increases the risk of premature labor, miscarriage, and low-birth-weight infants, although birth defects have not been linked to measles exposure.

Measles can be especially severe in persons with compromised immune systems. Measles is more severe in malnourished children, particularly those with vitamin A deficiency. In developing countries, the fatality rate may be as high as 25%.

Pregnant people should not get the MMR vaccine. Pregnant people who need the vaccine should wait until after giving birth. People should avoid getting pregnant for four weeks after getting the MMR vaccine.

Research has shown that the measles vaccine (MMR) is safe and very effective. Getting vaccinated is much safer than getting any of the diseases the vaccine protects against.

Like any medication, the measles vaccine (MMR) may cause side effects, most of which are mild:

  • Pain at the injection site
  • Fever
  • Mild rash
  • Swollen glands in the cheek or neck

Vaccines do not cause autism. In fact, studies have shown that there is no link between receiving vaccines and developing autism. Scientists have carefully studied the MMR shot and no studies have found a link between autism and the MMR vaccine.

Isolation separates people who are sick with a contagious disease from people who are not sick to prevent further spread of disease. People who have measles infection, or who are suspected of having measles infection, must be isolated until 4 days after their rash appeared to prevent infecting other people. Isolation is an important part of stopping measles spreading in the community, especially to high-risk people.

Quarantine means staying at home and away from daycare/school/work, group and social activities, sports and recreation events and public places like cinemas and shopping malls. Quarantine separates people who were exposed to a contagious disease and are in the time period where they could still get sick from it. People who were exposed to measles may spread measles to others even before they have symptoms themselves. Quarantine helps prevent measles from spreading in the community. For measles, quarantine is 21 - 28 days from exposure to a person with measles.

No. The processes of quarantine and school exclusion are different and administered separately.

Quarantine is a Health Department requirement that separates and restricts the movement of people, of any age, who were exposed to a contagious disease and are in the period where they could still get sick from it. Public health authorities help determine the need for quarantine and the appropriate dates. For measles, quarantine is 21 -28 days from exposure to a person with measles.

School Exclusion is a State of Ohio rule that applies to School Districts that requires their individual K-12 schools to exclude unvaccinated students from school for 21 days from the last reported case of measles in that school. The exclusion period is done for the protection of the unvaccinated student, is required by the State of Ohio, and is not optional for the school or the students. School exclusion does not apply to unvaccinated staff or faculty, but the quarantine period does apply. It should be noted that if there are multiple cases of the measles at a particular school, the student’s exclusion might be significantly extended beyond 21 days, since the 21-day time period would reset with the identification of each individual new case. When a student is excluded from school, this exclusion also includes all before and after school activities including childcare, clubs, and sports.

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 are not able to locate you records, you may receive a dose of MMR if you are not currently required to quarantine and do not have a contraindication to vaccination with a live virus vaccine (such as pregnancy or a severe immune disorder). 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 it may take some time to get the result.

Contact your health care provider regarding your past immunization history. Schools, colleges, prior employers, or the military (if you were enlisted) may also have records of your immunization history. If you are, or have been, pregnant your obstetrician’s office may have also tested you for immunity to measles when they tested you for immunity to rubella. You may also be included in your state’s immunization registry. Please visit the CDC website for additional suggestions on how to locate your vaccination records: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/vaccination-records.html

Everyone should be vaccinated with the MMR vaccine.

  • Children - Children should receive two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12-15 months of age and the second dose at 4-6 years of age or at least 28 days following the first dose.
  • Students at Post-High School Educational Institutions - Students at post-high school educational institutions without evidence of measles immunity need two doses of MMR vaccine with the second dose administered no earlier than 28 days after the first dose.
  • Adults - People who were born after 1957 who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine.
  • International Travelers - People 6 months of age or older who will be traveling internationally should be protected against measles.

Anyone who has not been immunized or had measles in the past is at risk. Babies younger than 12 months are at risk because they are too young to have been vaccinated.

Newborns have some natural immunity from their mothers, if the mother was vaccinated, for the first few months of their life. If parents or caregivers have not gotten the MMR vaccine or had measles in the past, they should get vaccinated. It is important to make sure people who are around your new baby do not expose your baby to measles.

They should stay isolated from you and others for 4 days after their rash first appeared. It is best to limit contact with others in your household and all family members should review their immune status.

There is no specific treatment for measles. People with measles need bed rest, fluids, and control of fever. Patients with complications may need treatment specific to their problem.

Measles is highly contagious and can be transmitted from 4 days before the rash becomes visible to 4 days after the rash appears.

No.

Yes. Some other names used for measles include rubeola, 10 day-measles, hard measles, and red measles.

Yes. Different viruses, diseases, and even medication reactions may cause a rash which appears similar to measles. Although other rashes may have a similar appearance to measles and have similar sounding names, it is important to distinguish measles from other causes of rash to take the appropriate steps for treatment and prevention of measles in the community. Your healthcare provider can take a careful history and exam to determine the cause of a rash and may order additional tests, in coordination with Public Health, if measles is suspected.

  • InsureKidsNow.gov - Your children may be eligible for free or low-cost health insurance. To learn more, call 1-877 KIDS NOW (1-877-543-7669).
  • Healthy Start & Healthy Families - Offers no-cost or low-cost health care coverage for kids (birth to age 19) and pregnant women as well as no-cost health care coverage for the entire family – parents and kids. To learn more, call (800) 324-8680.
  • Help Me Grow - 937-208-GROW (4769)