What families should know about measles

Measles is highly contagious and symptoms begin seven to 21 days after exposure.

  • Monday, May 20, 2019 3:02pm
  • News

With new cases of measles being detected, including in Bothell, here are some things families should know about measles.

What you need to know:Measles is highly contagious and causes fever, rash, cough and red watery eyes. It is mainly spread through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes.

Measles symptoms begin seven to 21 days after exposure. Measles is contagious from about four days before the rash appears through four days after the rash appears. People can spread measles before they have the characteristic measles rash.

Measles complications can include ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, and rarely, encephalitis (brain inflammation).

Complications from measles can happen even in healthy people but those at highest risk include: infants and children younger than 5 years, adults older than 20 years, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems from drugs or underlying disease.

Protecting yourself and your family:Check the immunization status of your family members. Adults born before 1967 may need a dose of MMR if they have not already had it and those born between 1963 and 1991 may require a booster shot.

For children, the CDC recommends a first dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) at 12-15 months, followed by a second dose at 4-6 years of age.

If you or a family member has measles symptoms, stay home and call your doctor for instructions.

You can also call the EvergreenHealth Healthline’s free consulting nurse at 425.899.3000.

This information was provided by EvergreenHealth, which has a location in Kenmore.

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