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August 02
Wake County Investigates Suspected Measles Case

Immunization is the best protection from the disease

The Wake County Human Services Division of Public Health today (Tuesday, Aug. 2) announced it is investigating a case of suspected measles in Wake County. The resident showed symptoms of measles after returning from travel overseas. Wake County expects to have the patient’s lab results within the next 24 hours, and, as a precautionary measure, is notifying people who may have been exposed to the disease.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms begin with a fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. These symptoms are followed by a rash that typically appears first on the face, along the hairline or behind the ears, and then spreads to the rest of the body.

People with measles are usually contagious for four days before the rash starts, the day it first appears and the following four days. Complications can include pneumonia, diarrhea and ear infections. Severe complications can be fatal. Infants, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are more at risk of complications from measles.

If you are experiencing symptoms of measles and have not been vaccinated, call your doctor right away. Your doctor can help determine if you are immune or can make special arrangements to evaluate you without putting other patients and medical staff at risk.

Immunization is the best protection from measles. Two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine are about 97 percent effective at preventing a person from contracting the disease if exposed to it. Two doses are recommended for school-aged children. They should get their first dose at 12 to 15 months of age; the second dose is usually given at 4 to 6 years of age, but may be given sooner. People who received two doses as recommended are considered protected from measles for life.

People who are traveling internationally should make sure to receive adequate MMR vaccination. Adults and children of at least 12 months old should receive two doses of the vaccine separated by at least 28 days. Infants 6–11 months of age should receive one dose of MMR vaccine before international travel.

If you have questions about measles in Wake County, you can reach a public health specialist at 919-728-5233. For more information about measles, visit the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.





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