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Exposure to Measles: What to do Next

According to the CDC, from January 1 to May 3, 2019, 764 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 23 states. This is an increase of 60 cases from the previous week. This is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000.

In the photo above, the dark blue states have had a case of the measles reported while the light blue have not.

“I’ve been exposed to someone who has measles. What should I do?”

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

  • Make special arrangements to evaluate you, if needed, without putting other patients and medical office staff at risk

  • Determine if you are immune to measles based on your vaccination record, age, or laboratory evidence

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 advise you and monitor you for signs and symptoms of measles.

If you are not immune and 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.

Signs and Symptoms

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

  • 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.

If you have reason to believe you were exposed to the measles or may have them, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

NARMC is here to serve you and your family when you need us.

Resource: CDC

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No information or content on this website is to be taken as implicit or explicit advice. Please contact a medical professional for guidance.

Photos on this website are provided by Vowell Publishing, Inc. and NARMC.

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