Measles is a contagious disease that causes high fever, cough, runny nose, and red watery eyes.
A rash of tiny red spots breaks out 3-5 days after symptoms begin. It also can lead to infection of
the lungs (pneumonia) and brain swelling (encephalitis), which may lead to brain damage or
death. There is no treatment for measles, but there is a way to prevent it: the combination
measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. It protects you and helps stop the spread of the
measles virus to others.
This is where Whitman County Public Health (WCPH) steps in. Here is what WCPH says YOU
need to know about Measles:
1. Measles can cause serious health complications, especially in children younger than 5.
2. About 1 in 4 people in the U.S. who get measles will be hospitalized
3. 1-2 out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even with the best of care
4. Measles is extremely contagious, it can spread through the air when an infected person
coughs or sneezes. (If one person has it, 9 out of 10 people around him or her will also
become infected if they are not infected
5. The MMR vaccine is very safe and effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97%
effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93% effective
6. Infants and children less than 5 years of age, adults older than 20, and pregnant women
are at high risk for severe illness and complications from measles.