Presence of Measles in Northern Indiana Could Impact Marion County

Created on Wednesday, 06 July 2011 15:10

Contact: Collette DuValle, 317-221-2463

The on-going measles outbreak in northern Indiana increases the likelihood of the highly contagious disease in Marion County.

While no measles cases have been reported in Indianapolis, Marion County Public Health Department officials say now is the time for parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms in case measles are confirmed locally.

When infected persons sneeze or cough, droplets spray into the air. Those droplets remain active and contagious on infected surfaces for up to two hours.

Measles begins with fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes about 7-10 days after exposure. The fever can increase. Two to four days after exposure, a rash starts on the face and upper neck. It spreads down the back and trunk, extends to the arms, hands, legs and feet. After about five days, the rash fades in the same order in which it appeared.

Those having these symptoms should remain at home and contact their healthcare provider. Adults should not go to work and children should be kept from day care or school.

“Clearly, the best protection against measles is preventative vaccination. While a highly communicable infectious disease, the two-does vaccine schedule increases measles immunity levels to approximately 99 percent. Therefore, we want all of our children to have their age-appropriate immunizations,” said Virginia A. Caine, M.D., director of the Marion County Public Health Department.

Children are vaccinated for measles at ages 1 and again at 4-6 years of age. Younger children considered at risk can also receive the vaccine.