Health Alerts

Measles

With widespread outbreaks of measles happening in the United States and internationally and local cases transmitted within Los Angeles County, including UCLA, the chance of exposure to measles is increased at this time.

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that spreads from person-to-person.

Measles spreads easily through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. About 9 out of 10 people who have not had the measles vaccine will get measles if they are exposed to the virus. You can get measles if you share the same air with a person with measles, even up to two hours after the person has left the area. Measles can also spread before the infected person has symptoms.

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.

The symptoms of measles include:

  • Fever (101°F or higher)
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red watery eyes
  • Rash of red spots. Some are slightly raised. Typically starts on the face or hairline and spreads to the rest of the body.

Measles can lead to serious illnesses, hospitalization, and even death. Serious illnesses include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Ear Infection
  • Brain Damage

Pregnant women, infants, young children, and persons with a weakened immune system are at the most risk for serious illnesses. There is no treatment for measles.

Actions recommended:

  • Ensure that you have had 2 measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccines or a titer (blood test) showing immunity and that those records are easily accessible (take a photo and keep the photo on your phone).
  • If you cannot find your records or are not vaccinated, call the SHC or another clinic to schedule an appointment to get the vaccine or obtain titers.
  • If you think that you have measles or have been exposed to measles, contact the SHC via phone right away (do NOT come in to the SHC). Tell them, or any medical clinic that you go to, that you might have measles so they can take steps to prevent other patients and staff from being exposed.