With widespread outbreaks of measles happening in the United States and internationally, and local cases transmitted within Los Angeles County, the chance of exposure to measles is increased at this time.
Measles is a highly contagious viral infection spreads from person-to-person. A person with measles can spread the disease to others even before they have any symptoms. Most people who have not been immunized against measles will get it if they have contact with the virus.
The best way to keep from getting and spreading measles is to get the measles immunization. Measles immunization is available at your doctor’s office, local pharmacy or health clinic.
Public Health clinics offer no or low-cost immunizations for individuals who are uninsured or underinsured.
If you think that you or someone in your family has measles or has been exposed to measles, contact your doctor's office by phone right away. Tell them that you might have measles before you go in, so they can take steps to prevent other patients and staff from being exposed.
Measles can cause these signs of disease:
- High Fever (over 101°F)
- Runny nose
- Red watery eyes
- A rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body
Measles is spread through a cough or sneeze by a person with measles and can still infect others 2 hours after the infected person has left a room. Persons with measles are contagious from 4 days before until 4 days after the rash appears. The incubation period for developing measles is up to 21 days after being exposed to someone else who has the disease.
Public Health Working for You
In response to the measles cases that have occurred in Los Angeles County, Public Health has mounted effective public health strategies to control the spread of this disease, including
- Identifying contacts and protecting them with active or passive immunization when possible, as well as limiting their activities when necessary to prevent possible spread to others;
- Isolating people who are infectious to prevent the spread of measles to others;
- Strongly advising not immunized individuals to receive the measles immunization; and
- Notifying the public through postings and local media of specific public locations where measles cases have occurred