INDIANAPOLIS—State health officials have confirmed a case of measles in an individual in Monroe County. The individual, who was not vaccinated, became infected with measles while overseas. The Indiana State Department of Health and local health departments are working to prevent further transmission of the disease by identifying individuals who may have been exposed as well as potential additional cases.
The individual visited the Indianapolis International Airport on Aug. 22, while infectious. Those who visited the airport that day and develop symptoms of measles, such as rash, fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes, should stay home and call their health care provider. Secondary cases would begin experiencing symptoms from Aug. 24 through Sept. 12.
Health care providers should consider measles in patients with rash and fever, particularly if the patient is unvaccinated, and visited the Indianapolis International Airport on Aug. 22, or has a history of travel to Texas (where a measles outbreak is currently occurring), international travel, or contact with international visitors or symptomatic cases. Health care providers are encouraged to ask these patients if they have been vaccinated against measles.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It is rare in the United States due to the widespread availability of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine; however, visitors from other countries or U.S. citizens traveling abroad can become infected before or during travel.
More than 95 percent of people who receive a single dose of MMR will develop immunity to measles, and more than 99 percent will be protected after receiving a second dose. Two doses of the vaccine are needed to be fully protected. Individuals are encouraged to check with their health care providers to ensure vaccinations are up-to-date.
Children are routinely vaccinated for measles at 1 year of age, and again at 4-6 years of age before going to kindergarten, but children as young as 6 months old can receive the measles vaccine if they are at risk. Individuals born before 1957 are presumed to be immune to measles. Individuals who are unsure about vaccination history should contact their health care providers. Hoosiers can also access immunization records directly through the secure online tool, called MyVaxIndiana, by requesting a PIN from their health care provider. Go to www.MyVaxIndiana.in.gov to learn more.
Measles begins with a fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes about 7-10 days after exposure. The fever increases and can get as high as 105 degrees. Two to four days later, a rash starts on the face and upper neck. It spreads down the back and trunk, and then extends to the arms and hands, as well as the legs and feet. After about five days, the rash fades the same order in which it appeared.
Measles is highly contagious. When infected persons sneeze or cough, droplets spray into the air. Those droplets remain active and contagious on infected surfaces for up to two hours.
For more information about measles, please visit the Indiana State Department of Health at www.StateHealth.in.gov or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/measles/.
Follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1.
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