What is it?
- Measles is an infection caused by a virus.
- It occurs most often in the late winter and spring.
- Your child is more likely to develop measles if they have not been vaccinated or if they travel to other countries without being vaccinated.
Signs and Symptoms?
Common symptoms include:
- Fever that lasts for a couple of days
- Cough, runny nose, and red and watery eyes that follow the fever
- Small red spots with bluish-white centers inside mouth (Koplick spots)
- Rash that starts on the face and upper neck and spreads down the body before spreading to the arms, hands, legs and feet.
- After about five days, the rash fades in the same order it appeared.
- In severe cases, measles can cause swelling of the brain. This can lead to seizures, permanent brain damage, hearing loss, or death.
How does it spread?
- Rubeola is mainly spread through the air. It can be caught just by being in a room with a person with measles or where someone with measles has been recently.
- The virus can survive in the air up to two hours.
- This virus is very contagious up to 4 days before the rash or signs of illness starts.
- Children with immune system problems often stay contagious much longer.
How to decrease the spread?
- Rubeola is included in the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Ask your doctor if you or your children are not immune.
- Anyone in the infectious stage of Rubeola must stay away from day care, school and work for at least four days after the appearance of the rash.
- Measles must be reported to the Medical Officer of Health as required by the Health Promotion and Protection Act.