Contact: Collette DuValle, 317-373-2391

Marion County Health Department Working With State On Measles Investigation

The Marion County Public Health Department is working cooperatively with the Indiana State Department of Health's investigation into cases of measles in Hamilton and Boone Counties. While there are no reported cases of measles in Marion County, an infected individual was in the county, visiting Super Bowl village on February 3, potentially exposing Marion County residents to the highly contagious disease.

The Marion County Public Health Department has contacted local physicians, including those in infectious disease, emergency medicine, pediatrics, family practice and those in neighborhood clinics providing technical medical guidance.

Measles is a highly contagious communicable disease. It is caused by a virus that is transmitted from person to person by the airborne spread of respiratory droplets and direct contact with nasal or throat secretions from an infected person. Transmission by contact with articles soiled with nasal or throat secretions is less common. Complications from measles can be serious, with a case fatality rate of 3%-5%.

Because of the incubation period associated with the measles, disease could occur anytime in the next two weeks, and possibly beyond, depending on exposure.

The symptoms include:

  • Blotchy rash
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Feeling run down, achy (malaise)
  • Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers found inside the mouth (Koplik's spots)
  • A typical case of measles begins with mild to moderate fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and sore throat. Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik's spots) may appear inside the mouth.
  • Three to five days after the start of symptoms, a red or reddish-brown rash appears. The rash usually begins on a person's face at the hairline and spreads downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. When the rash appears, a person's fever may spike to more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • After a few days, the fever subsides and the rash fades.

Anyone with these symptoms should stay away from large groups of people, including work and school. A physician should be contacted in advance of going to a clinic or other healthcare facility so that appropriate arrangements can be made to reduce the risk of spreading further disease.

From 2000-2010, Marion County has had one reported case of Measles, in 2002. Measles transmission has been rare in the United States but is still common in many parts of the world, including Europe. The best protection against measles is vaccination. Children current on their MMR vaccinations should have full protection from measles. Adults should have two doses of MMR, at least a month apart. Those with vaccine questions are asked to contact their physician or the Marion County Public Health Department at (317) 221-2117.