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Indiana Department of Health reports first measles case in 5 years

Measles outbreak: 11 cases confirmed in Arizona
Posted at 12:23 PM, Feb 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-23 12:23:53-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Health has reported the first case of measles in 5 years.

The IDOH confirmed a case of measles in a Lake County resident, which is the first reported case since 2019.

The department says risk to the public is low, but IDOH continues to investigate the case along with local public health officials.

They will release no other information about the case to protect patient privacy.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It is rare in the United States due to the widespread availability of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, but visitors from other countries or U.S. citizens traveling abroad can become infected, particularly before or during travel.

As of Feb. 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 20 confirmed cases of measles in the United States this year.

Symptoms

Measles begins with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes usually about 7 to 14 days after exposure to measles but can occur up to 21 days. The fever increases and can get as high as 105 degrees. Tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth two to three days after symptoms begin. Then two to four days after symptoms begin, a rash starts on the hairline and face. It spreads down the back and trunk, and then extends to the arms and hands, as well as the legs and feet. After about five days, the rash fades the same order in which it appeared.

Because measles is so easily spread, a single case is considered an outbreak. When infected people sneeze or cough, droplets spray into the air. Those droplets remain effective in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours.

What you can do

If you are experiencing the symptoms of measles, stay home and call your healthcare provider right away before going to the doctor’s office. Be prepared to describe your symptoms and alert your doctor if you think you have been in contact with an infected person. If you are ill with measles, stay home and away from others, especially unvaccinated infants, people with diseases affecting their immune systems and pregnant women.

The public may call the IDOH information center at 1-800-382-1563 from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. EST Monday through Friday with any questions. Please visit the IDOH website or the CDC websitefor more information about measles