Measles: Highly contagious and easily preventable disease reported in 21 states including Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS -- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 107 people from 21 states, including Indiana, have reported contracting measles between January 1 to July 14, 2018.

While doctors at Riley Hospital for Children say they have yet to treat anyone for the diseases, they say it’s important to know the symptoms and be prepared if you come in contact with it.

Measles is a highly contagious disease and the symptoms usually don’t appear for 7-14 days after someone is infected.

Measles typically begins with some of the same symptoms as a common cold:

  • High fever
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Red, watery eyes

But a few days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots can start to appear inside the mouth and then days later, a rash breaks out.

Once the rash appears, a person’s fever can spike to more than 104 degrees and that’s when the disease becomes contagious.

READ | Measles reported in 21 states

“Measles is one of the most infectious diseases we know about and it’s easily spread so people sharing the same room as somebody that happened to be not immune to the virus can easily pick up the virus,” said Riley Doctor James Woods.

Although it’s contagious and can easily spread, prevention of the measles is easy because of the MMR vaccine.

“Vaccines are certainly a hot topic and we know that vaccines are safe,” said Dr. Woods. “For measles, it’s a very effective vaccine so we try to educate our families as much as we can about the safety of these vaccines and how they really do work to prevent diseases like the measles.”

If you believe you or a family member may have the measles it’s important to visit your doctor right away.

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