Baton Rouge, La. (May 11, 2018) – Louisiana state health officials are investigating a confirmed case of measles in New Orleans. The illness was confirmed through laboratory testing in New Orleans resident who recently traveled out of the country.  This case is not related to a positive measles case reported earlier in April of this year. In both cases, the individuals were not vaccinated.

“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. We are beyond 21 days since the last reported case so we are confident the two cases are not related,” said Dr. Parham Jaberi, Assistant State Health Officer. “Additionally, based on our tracking we do not believe the two individuals with confirmed measles came in contact with each other.”

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 individual identified to have measles recently returned to New Orleans after traveling out of the country. The state Office of Public Health is working to identify and notify those who may have come into contact with this person and to implement measures to help prevent the spread of the virus.

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.

MMR vaccine is available at Orleans and Jefferson Parish Health Units listed below. Please call 504-658-2540 to schedule an appointment. 

Parish Health Unit 


Hours of Operation 

New Orleans Parish Health Unit - Delgado Clinic

517 N. Rampart Street

New Orleans, La. 70112 

Monday - Friday

8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Metairie Parish Health Unit 

111 N. Causeway Blvd.

Metairie, La. 70001 

Monday, Tuesday, Friday

8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Marrero Parish Health Unit 

1855 Ames Blvd.

Marrero, La. 70072

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Measles Symptoms:

  • According to the CDC, the symptoms of measles generally appear about seven to 14 days after a person is infected.
  • Measles typically begins with high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth of a patient.
  • 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 feed. 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.
  • After a few days, the fever subsides and rash fades.

Measles Facts:

  • 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 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.
  • Anyone experiencing symptoms should stay home, isolate as much as possible and contact their primary care physician immediately.

About the Louisiana Department of Health 

The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state residents. The Louisiana Department of Health includes the Office of Public Health, Office of Aging & Adult Services, Office of Behavioral Health, Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, and Healthy Louisiana (Medicaid). To learn visit or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or our blog.