Measles: What you need to know

February 2019

As you have probably heard in the news, there has been a significant outbreak of measles in Washington State.

The good news is that we have no recent confirmed cases in Ohio. With spring break approaching, Student Health Services recommends that you verify that you received the Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccine, especially if you plan to travel.

Check if you have been vaccinated

Most students who attended school in the United States have been vaccinated with the Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccine. 

You should have received two doses as a child. If you do not have documentation of it, call Student Health Services at 330-972-7808, and we can let you know where you can find that information. We can also help you receive the vaccine if you need it.

Further, please call us at 330-972-7808 if you develop the symptoms below, and we will provide guidance. 

Measles symptoms

Measles is caused by a virus and spreads very easily when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. It spreads so easily that someone who is not protected (either by being immunized or having had measles in the past) can get it if they walk into a room where someone with the disease has been in the past couple of hours.  Measles spreads so easily that anyone who is exposed to it and is not immune (for example, someone who has not been vaccinated) will probably get the disease.

Symptoms of measles typically appear between 10 to 14 days after a person has been exposed to the virus. The symptoms include fever, dry cough, runny nose, sore throat, conjunctivitis and a skin rash.

In the first 10 to 14 days after an individual is infected, they will show no signs or symptoms of the disease, as the virus is incubating. Then, for two to three days the person will begin to experience a mild to moderate fever, persistent cough, runny nose, sore throat and inflamed eyes. Infected individuals then will see a splotchy red rash spread, first on the face, then down the body. Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background inside the inner lining of the cheek can also be present. As the rash spreads, a person can also experience a spike in temperature. The rash is what can distinguish this from other common illnesses that we often see.

  • The majority of people who get measles were unvaccinated.
  • Measles is still common in many parts of the world, including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific and Africa.
  • Travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S.
  • Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated, such as some communities today in Washington State.
  • Spring break is coming. If you are traveling outside the U.S make sure you have all recommended vaccines.

More about measles from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

UA's Student Health Services on the web.