Measles is a Highly Infectious Disease

A laboratory confirmed case of measles has been reported to public health in Lincoln County Nebraska. Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is so contagious that if one person has it, 9 out of 10 people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected.

Measles symptoms include a fever that can spike at 105 F, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. It’s followed by a rash that spreads over the body. You can get measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, even up to two hours after that person has left. An infected person can spread measles to others even before knowing he/she has the disease - from four days before developing the measles rash through four days afterward. It is strongly encouraged that individuals contact their health provider immediately if they suspect measles.

The best protection against measles is measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. MMR vaccine provides long-lasting protection against all strains of measles. Your child needs two doses of MMR vaccine for best protection. The first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, the second dose 4 through 6 years of age. Most persons under 40 years of age who were compliant with school entry requirements have had two doses of MMR vaccine and have a very low risk of developing measles if exposed. Persons who were non-compliant with that requirement are at high risk if exposed to a person shedding the measles virus. All persons who have not received two doses of MMR are urged to consider vaccination at this time. Exposed persons who are not immune and who refuse immunization should not attend school/work for 21 days after last exposure.

For more information on measles or to schedule an appointment to get your vaccines updated, call 308-345-4223