Measles: What You Need to Know

Wednesday, 16 August 2017 17:20

Measles: What You Need to Know

August 16, 2017

Given the recent measles outbreak in Uganda, CoRSU is sharing helpful information for parents. The best way to prevent measles is for all children to be fully vaccinated on time.

What is measles?

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory system. Infected individuals can release the infection into the air when they cough or sneeze. Measles is serious—if untreated, it can result in severe and long-term complications. It is especially high-risk for children under 5.

What are the symptoms of measles?

  Initial symptoms can include a high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes

Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots may appear inside the mouth.

Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out. It begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, chest, arms, legs, and feet.

Who is at high risk for measles?

Infants and children who aren’t vaccinated are at highest risk for contracting measles. Areas or communities with low immunization rates are at particular risk as well. Measles spreads easily among people who are not vaccinated.

What should I do?

Check in at the nearest health facility or clinic if you see symptoms of measles, or if you suspect that you or your child has been exposed. Your doctor or clinic will advise you on next steps.

How does measles spread?

Measles is spread through the air when people who have it breathe and cough. It is highly contagious.

You cannot get measles more than once, because after you have had it you are immune.

How long is a person with measles contagious?

A person with measles can pass it to others from four days before their rash appears to four days after it appears.

Is my child vaccinated?

If you aren’t sure if you or your child has been vaccinated, you can immunise them again.

Note: Measles can be a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death.