Measles is a highly contagious, airborne disease caused by measles virus. The classic symptoms of cough, coryza, conjunctivitis, fever, and rash
develop 8 to 10 days after a susceptible person inhales the measles virus. A characteristic blotchy red rash appears between 1 and 7 days later, starting on the face and spreading south. People with measles are most contagious during the 4 days before and
the 4 days after the skin rash appears.
OHA encourages physicians (and others) to maintain a high index of suspicion for measles, especially in people without adequate measles immunization (two doses of measles-containing vaccine). Patients with the classic symptoms of cough, coryza, conjunctivitis, rash and fever
, whether in doctors' offices or hospitals, should be immediately separated from other patients, phlebotomized for measles antibodies (order measles IgM
antibody specifically) and reported to the communicable disease control sections of the county health department
where they live. Childhood immunization
If a case slips by, please immediately
contact your county health department
or the Immunization Program Epidemiology staff at DHS Oregon Health Authority 971-673-0300 for assistance with case and contact investigation and preventive therapy.