Here’s what you need to know about measles
What is measles?
Measles is a serious and highly contagious respiratory disease in the lungs and breathing tubes that causes a rash and fever.
What are the symptoms of measles?
Symptoms include a high fever that could spike at 104 F, cough, runny nose, red eyes, diarrhea, ear infection and a rash of tiny, red spots that start at the head and spread to the rest of the body.
How does measles spread?
Measles spreads when a person infected with the measles virus breathes, coughs or sneezes. You can become infected just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, up to two hours after that person is gone. An infected person can spread measles to others even before knowing he or she has the disease – from four days before developing the measles rash through four days afterward.
How can I protect my child against measles?
The best protection against measles is Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine. The MMR vaccine provides long-lasting protection against all strains of measles. A child needs two doses of MMR vaccine for best protection. The first dose is recommended at 12-15 months of age and the second dose at 4-6 years of age.
Is the MMR vaccine safe?
Yes, the MMR vaccine is safe and it is effective at preventing measles, as well as mumps and rubella.
Note: If your child is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, please contact your primary healthcare provider and the Galveston County Health District (GCHD) as soon as possible. Children should not return to daycare or school until they have been cleared by their healthcare provider and GCHD has been notified.
For notification and questions, contact Randy Valcin, Director of Epidemiology, Public Health Emergency Preparedness and HIV/STD at 409-938-2322 or Epidemiologist Sharon Stonum at 409-938-2208.