DPH Confirms Measles Case in Metro Atlanta

DPH Confirms Measles Case in Metro Atlanta

MMR Vaccine is Safe and Effective in Preventing Measles

ATLANTA -The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed measles in an unvaccinated metro Atlanta resident. The individual may have exposed others between Oct. 31- Nov. 6. DPH is notifying individuals who may have been exposed to the virus and may be at increased risk for developing measles. DPH urges health care providers to maintain heightened awareness for patients with measles.

Measles starts with fever. Soon after, it causes a cough, runny nose and red eyes. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out. It starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.

Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. In fact, the measles virus can stay in the air for up to two hours after an infected person was there. People may be infected by simply being in a room where an infected person once was. It is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected.

Measles can be prevented with the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. The vaccine is safe and effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children receive their first dose of MMR vaccine between 12-15 months of age and a second dose between 4-6 years old. More than 95% of the people who receive a single dose of MMR will develop immunity to all three viruses. A second dose boosts immunity, typically enhancing protection to 98%.

People with symptoms of measles should contact their health care provider immediately. DO NOT go to the doctor’s office, the hospital, or a public health clinic without FIRST calling to let them know about your symptoms. Health care providers who suspect measles in a patient should notify public health immediately.

For more information about measles, log on to https://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html.

Measles (Rubeola) Fact Sheet

What is measles?

Measles (rubeola) is a highly contagious vaccine-preventable disease caused by a virus.

How is measles spread?

Measles is spread by air-borne droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes

What are the symptoms of measles?

Measles typically begins with a fever, followed by cough, runny nose, and/or red, watery eyes. After two to three days, the fever peaks and a rash appears at the hairline and spreads progressively downward covering the face, neck, trunk and extremities.

What kind of vaccine is given to prevent measles? 

The MMR vaccine prevents measles and two other viral diseases – mumps and rubella. More than 95% of the people who receive a single dose of MMR will develop immunity to all three viruses. A second dose boosts immunity, typically enhancing protection to 98%.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all persons be routinely vaccinated between 12 and 18 months of age and receive a booster between 4 and 6 years of age.

Who is at increased risk of becoming infected with measles?

  • Infants who are too young to have been vaccinated (less than 1 year of age),
  • Persons who have never been vaccinated,
  • Pregnant women,
  • Immunocompromised persons (these include persons undergoing cancer chemotherapy or other immune-suppressive treatments, transplant recipients or those with diseases that affect the immune system such as acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE).

What about older persons?

Persons born before 1957 are generally considered immune because they probably had the disease when they were younger.

Is it OK to go to public places (i.e., grocery store, work, day care, school etc.) if I become ill?

No. If you become ill you should avoid all public places and contact your health care provider immediately. DO NOT go to the doctor’s office, the hospital, or a public health clinic without FIRST calling to let them know about your possible exposure to measles. Your health care provider or public health nurse will advise you about what you should do. Please contact the Georgia Department of Public Health immediately at 404-657-2588 should you become ill.

Measles in Georgia

  • 2019 – 8 (to date)
  • 2018 – 0
  • 2017 – 0
  • 2016 – 0
  • 2015 – 1
  • 2014 – 0
  • 2013 – 0
  • 2012 – 2
  • 2011 – 0
  • 2010 – 1  
  • 2009 – 1

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