HEALTH CENTER

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Q. and A. with Dr. Kiskila- This Month’s Topic: Measles

Kiskila croppedQuestion: Dr. Kiskila, what are measles?

Answer: Measles is an infectious disease caused by the rubella virus.

Question: How do I get measles?  How long is an infected person contagious?

Answer: Measles is highly contagious, and you get it from contact droplet and airborne transmission. The virus takes 7-21 days to incubate. Infected individuals usually start symptoms 8-12 days after exposure and are contagious 4 days prior to 4 days after the rash first appears.

Question: What are the symptoms of measles?

Answer: High fever (up to 105), runny nose, cough and conjunctivitis (pink eye), small white spots in the mouth with a red background 3-4 days before a rash develops. The rash starts on the hairline and ears then covers the face and spreads down to the trunk, arms and legs to the feet. The rash resolves in the same sequence (face to feet).

Question: What is the treatment for measles?

Answer: Immune globulin through an IV.

Question:  How do I avoid getting measles?

Answer: The MMR vaccine is two doses of measles containing vaccine and is 99% effective in preventing measles. The first dose is usually given at 12-15 months and the second at 4-6 years.

Question: What should I do if I suspect I have measles?

Answer: Call the local health department or your doctor’s office for recommendations.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.