Since January 1, 2015, over 100 cases of measles have been identified in multiple states across the U.S. The majority of these cases are linked to a measles outbreak associated with a California theme park. State and local health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are conducting ongoing monitoring of this outbreak, and are working diligently to stop the transmission of this serious disease. Updated information on the current outbreak is available on the CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Measles can live on surfaces and in the air for up to two hours in the airspace where an infected person coughed or sneezed. The virus is so infectious that 90% of people who are not immune will get measles if exposed. A person with measles is infectious and able to spread the disease to others from four days before to four days after the rash appears.
Symptoms of measles, which appear seven to 14 days after exposure, begin with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. Three to five days later, a rash presents that spreads all over the body. While the rash is present, fever can become elevated to more than 1040. The fever and rash can last for several days.
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