Measles is an acute viral respiratory illness and is one of the most contagious of all infectious diseases. Up 90% of susceptible persons with close contact to a measles patient will develop measles. The virus is transmitted by direct contact with infectious droplets or by airborne spread when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. Measles virus can remain infectious in the air for up to two hours.
Measles is characterized by fever (as high as 105°F), malaise, cough, and conjunctivitis. It also causes coryza which is inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the nasal cavity, usually causing a running nose, nasal congestion and loss of smell. Patients may have the spots in the mouth known as Koplik spots and skin rash.
If you suspect a patient to have measles-
- Wear N95 mask, gown, and eye protection.
- Notify the hospital early that you suspect measles.
- If we are on Code Red or Code Black, notify the patient distribution center of the concern. You may be directed to a specific hospital for treatment.
For more information CLICK HERE to view a CDC Fact Sheet