Measles is a disease caused by the measles virus. Measles is very contagious and spreads easily but you can protect yourself by getting immunized.
People with measles can also get pneumonia. Measles is much less common since routine immunization of children against measles began.
After someone catches the measles virus, it can take 8-12 days for signs of the disease to appear:
Young children may also develop diarrhea or an ear infection with measles.
Measles is catching 1 to 2 days before any signs appear and from 3 to 5 days before a rash appears. It remains catching until 4 days after a rash appears.
Measles is spread through contact with droplets coughed, sneezed, or breathed into the air from someone with measles.
It is given in a shot that also includes vaccine against mumps and rubella (MMR). Children under one year of age may get the vaccine if there is an outbreak of measles or if they are to travel to an area where measles is common. If the vaccine is received prior to one year of age, the dose will need to be repeated.
Two doses of a measles containing vaccine are recommended.
Measles can be prevented in unimmunized people who are exposed to measles, if they receive the vaccine within 72 hours.
Measles is a reportable disease in British Columbia. If there is a case of measles in a child or adult in the child care centre or school, immediately report the case to the Licensing Officer or Public Health Nurse assigned to your centre or school.
Talk to your doctor or Public Health Nurse, if you have any questions about measles.
About Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen.
If there is a case of measles in a school or child care centre, all children and adults who have not had measles disease or vaccine should stay away from the child care centre or school, unless they receive measles vaccine within 72 hours of last exposure to a case of measles or until the Medical Health Officer says it is safe for them to return.
Print this page as featured in the guide book, Sneezes & Diseases: A Resource Book for Caregivers & Parents