There have been at least 2 reported cases of the measles in Butte County, which are considered part of a cluster outbreak in Butte, Tehama and Shasta Counties. A disease outbreak is the occurrence of cases of a disease in excess of what would normally be expected in a defined community, geographical area or season. Measles is a virus that is highly contagious, and potentially dangerous for those who have not been vaccinated. Here’s what you need to know.
Signs & Symptoms to Look for
Measles is a contagious virus that is spread through the air by coughing and sneezing.
Symptoms of measles generally appear about seven to 14 days after a person is infected.
Measles typically begins with:
- high fever
- runny nose
- red, watery eyes
Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth.
Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out. It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. Small raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots. The spots may become joined together as they spread from the head to the rest of the body. When the rash appears, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104° Fahrenheit.
[Infographic source: https://www.cdc.gov/measles/parent-infographic.html]
The good news is, the virus only lives in the air for about an hour after an infected person has been at a location. You can see where the infected people visited here.
According to Lisa Almaguer, with the Butte County Public Health Department, both of the infected individuals are past their infectious period and can no longer spread illness to others.
How to protect yourself
Measles can be prevented with the MMR vaccine. If you've already gotten the shot, you're good for life. But if you're not sure and you want another shot just to be safe, you can do that as well.
Most people get this vaccine as children. The vaccine protects against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella. CDC recommends children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Teens and adults should also be up to date on their MMR vaccination.
The MMR vaccine is very safe and effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93% effective.
If you are unsure if you’ve ever received the vaccine or want to get another one just to be safe, please visit the Orchard Hospital’s Medical Specialty Center – Your Everyday Health Care Clinic at 284 Spruce St. Gridley if you are in need of the MMR vaccine or have questions please call 530-846-9080.
Where can I find more information?
The links below offer more information about the Measles.
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