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Cougar Health Services January 2019

Information on Measles

Physician's white coat with stethoscope and pens in pocket.

Measles is a serious disease that causes a rash and fever. Measles is very contagious. It spreads when a person with measles breathes out, coughs, or sneezes. Anyone who is not vaccinated is much more likely to get measles if exposed. Measles can be dangerous, especially for young children. In rare cases, it can be deadly.

SYMPTOMS OF MEASLES AND HOW IT SPREADS
Measles often begins with a high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. After 3-5 days, a rash usually begins on the face and spreads to other parts of the body. You can catch measles from an infected person as early as 4 days before they have a rash and for up to 4 days after the rash appears. You can get measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been. The measles virus stays in the air for up to two hours after that person has left the room.

PROTECTION AGAINST MEASLES
The best protection against measles is immunization. WSU requires verification of measles immunity for all students born after December 31, 1956. See more about the measles immunization requirements here. 

CALL YOUR DOCTOR OR CLINIC RIGHT AWAY IF YOU SEE SYMPTOMS
Your doctor or clinic will let you know if you need to come in for visit. Measles is very contagious and you could give it to someone in a waiting room. It’s important to tell your doctor or clinic that you have symptoms of measles before you go. They will give you instructions for what to do so that you don’t spread measles.

WSU students with measles symptoms or concerns can call us 24 hours a day at 509-335-3575 to speak with a nurse.