April 9, 2018
Louisiana state health officials are investigating a confirmed case of measles in New Orleans. The illness was confirmed through laboratory testing in a recent traveler from Europe to New Orleans.
Measles is a highly contagious viral illness that can spread rapidly amongst individuals who are unvaccinated. In extreme cases, the illness can lead to hospitalization and even death. The individual found to have measles is now under care in a New Orleans hospital.
- The best protection and way to prevent measles is to have had two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, known as MMR. Two doses are about 97 percent effective against measles. If you are unsure of your vaccination records, check with your primary-care provider. Even a single dose of MMR up to 72 hours after exposure to someone with measles can prevent it or greatly reduce symptoms.
- It can take anywhere from 10 to 21 days after a person comes in contact with someone with measles for that person to develop symptoms. These typically begin with a high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes, followed by a rash that typically spreads from the head to the rest of the body. In some cases, tiny white spots may appear inside the mouth two to three days after the onset of symptoms. Common complications for measles include ear infections and diarrhea, seen in about 10 percent of patients.
- A person is contagious four days before the appearance of rash and the four days after the onset of rash. The highly contagious virus spreads easily by coughing, sneezing or even being in the same room with an infected person.
Because there is no cure, treatment is geared toward alleviating symptoms. Rest, pain and fever reducers, fluids, vitamin A supplements, and the use of a humidifier are often recommended.
- Health authorities declared measles eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, but it is still common in other parts of the world.
- In addition to practicing good hand hygiene habits, avoid sharing drinks, food and utensils.
- News release
- Louisiana MyIR - MyIR is a website that offers consumers free copies of the SIIS-based immunization records.
- Links - allows enrolled users to conveniently search for patients in the LINKS Central Registry and to view the patients' vaccination record. In addition, authorized users can add and edit patient records and vaccination records, as well as maintain facility, physician, and lot number data.
- Office of Public Health Immunizations Program