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It's More than a Rash

If you think you have measles, call your provider immediately at 410-837-2050 for advice; please avoid visiting us in person.

By mid-April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 626 cases of measles had been confirmed in the United States.  In Maryland, four cases have been confirmed in the Baltimore area.

Though the number may seem small, measles is HIGHLY contagious. You are likely NOT at risk if you have records showing one of the following:

  • You received two doses of measles-containing vaccine, and you are a(n)—
    • school-aged child (grades K-12)
    • adult who will be in a setting that poses a high risk for measles transmission, including students at post-high school education institutions, healthcare personnel, and international travelers.
  • You received one dose of measles-containing vaccine, and you are a(n)—
    • preschool-aged child
    • adult who will not be in a high-risk setting for measles transmission.
  • A laboratory confirmed that you had measles at some point in your life.
  • A laboratory confirmed that you are immune to measles.
  • You were born before 1957.

Measles can be serious for anyone. But, children younger than 5 and adults older than 20 are more likely to suffer from measles complications.

Symptoms of Measles

 

measles symptoms, rash, watery eyes, runny nose, measles outbreak
  • Measles typically begins with these symptoms:
    • high fever,
    • cough,
    • runny nose, and
    • red, watery eyes.
  • A few days later, tiny white spots may appear inside the mouth.
  • About 5 days after the first symptoms start, a rash breaks:
    • Flat red spots appear on the face at the hairline
    • Then to the neck, body, arms, legs, and feet.
    • Small raised bumps may appear on top of the flat red spots.
    • The spots may join together. 
    • Fever may reach 104 degrees F or higher.

There is a safe and effective vaccine against measles.

The best protection against measles is measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. MMR vaccine provides long-lasting protection against all strains of measles. Children should get 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.

Common Complications

Ear infections and diarrhea are common complications.

Some people may have serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). Common measles complications include ear infections and diarrhea.

Learn More

To understand more about measles, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website. 

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