Saturday, April 9, 2011

Measles Update as of 4/8/2011

This is the most current information that we have from the Salt Lake Valley Health Department regarding the confirmed case of measles. We do routinely vacinate for MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and if you are concerned please contact our office.

Salt Lake Valley Health Department has confirmed a case of measles in Salt Lake County. This is the first confirmed case of the disease in Utah since 2005 and the first in Salt Lake County since 1997. Individuals who have had close contact with the infected resident have been notified and encouraged to receive any necessary vaccinations. Measles causes fever, runny nose, cough and a rash all over the body. The virus is transmitted by respiratory droplets such as coughing, sneezing and/or direct contact to secretions from an infected person. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people close to that person—if they are not immune—will also become infected. Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease. Children should get two doses of the vaccine and adults born after 1957 who may not have been immunized should contact their doctor to see if they need the vaccine. Measles vaccine, which has been commonly used for more than 50 years, can safely and effectively prevent this disease. This case indicates why it’s important for people to be protected against measles. People should have their health care providers review their immunization records and get vaccinated against the measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases as appropriate. Measles vaccine is available through primary care physicians and local health departments. The measles virus kills nearly 200,000 people around the world each year, but measles was considered eliminated in the United States more than 10 years ago.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is measles?

Measles is a serious disease caused by a virus. It is highly infectious and can be serious in infants, adults and pregnant woman.

What are the symptoms of Measles?
Measles may resemble a cold (cough, fever of 101 degrees or higher, runny nose, and red watery eyes. The rash usually begins a few days later, around the ears and hairline and spread to cover the face, trunk and arms. Sometimes people become very sensitive to light.

How soon do symptoms appear?
People generally become ill from measles 8-12 days after exposure to the virus. The average time from exposure to appearance of the rash is 14 days.

How is measles spread?
The virus is highly contagious, and is found in the nose and throat secretions of infected people. Direct contact with these secretions is usually exposure to a cough or sneeze of the infected person.

How long is it contagious?
People infected with measles are contagious 4 days before the rash and at least 4 days after the rash appears.

How is measles diagnosed?
It is diagnosed based on symptoms, and confirmed by a physician by checking for measles-specific antibodies in a person’s blood.

Who is at risk for measles?
Anyone can get the measles. Those at highest risk at children less then 15 months of age who are too young to receive the vaccine; people born in or after 1957, who lack proper documentation of measles immunity; people who have not been vaccinated; and person’s vaccinated before age one. It can cause complications such as pneumonia, ear infections, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and death.

How do you prevent measles from spreading?
Ensure that children are vaccinated at appropriate ages. People exposed to measles should check their immunization record; consult their physician or local health department to see if they need a protective vaccination. Be prepared to show documentation of vaccine to the Health Department People with measles should be separated from non-immune people. This includes exclusion from public setting such as day care cents, school, work, sports, retail, etc. Wash hands frequently, cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing (cough into your shoulder or elbow)

What about the vaccine? Measles vaccine is safe, however people with severe allergies to eggs or people with disorders that suppress the immune system should only receive the vaccine after consulting with their physician. Children with high fever should delay getting their vaccines until they are recovered. Women who are pregnant or who are consigning becoming pregnant in the next three months should postpone receiving the vaccine. It is a live vaccine.

The initial dose of the measles vaccine is recommended for children at 12 months of age and the second dose at 4-6 years of age. Two doses of the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR) are required for entry into Utah schools.
Measles vaccine is also recommended for other groups, such as healthcare workers, international travelers, people born after 1957, and anyone without a previous history of vaccination or disease.

How do I clean?

The virus is susceptible to many disinfectants - 1% sodium hypochlorite, 70% ethanol, glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde The virus can also be inactivated by heat (30 min at 56° C) or light The virus can survive OUTSIDE HOST: Aerosol remains infective at least 30 minutes; short survival time (< 2 hours) on objects or surfaces.

We will continue to update this blog as information becomes avalible to us
**info from

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