– The Nevada County Public Health Department is announcing a confirmed case of measles in Western Nevada County. The unvaccinated student attends Yuba River Charter School and was infectious while at school on March 17, 2016. The Public Health Department is working with the school to notify parents of this possible exposure. Students who have not had the MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine are at risk for both contracting the disease and spreading the disease, even before symptoms appear. A child is at risk of developing measles if he/she has never had the disease or has not received the vaccination. Two doses of MMR are recommended for school-aged children. Children who have received one or two doses of MMR may still get measles, but the chances are substantially reduced and the disease is typically milder.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. The disease is easily spread through the air by coughing, sneezing or close contact with an infected person. Measles causes a rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes, usually lasting for 1-2 weeks. It can be spread from 4 days before the rash appears to 4 days afterwards. The rash typically begins on the face and head then proceeds downward and outward to the hands and feet. It fades in the same order it began, from head to feet. Immunization with the MMR vaccine is the best defense against measles, with 97-99% of persons developing immunity after two doses. Nevada County has some of the highest rates of unvaccinated students in California.
Complications from measles are more common in children younger than 5 years and those with immunosuppression. Complications can include diarrhea, ear infection and pneumonia. Death can occur from severe complications and the risk is higher among younger children and adults. There is no treatment for measles. Bed rest, fluids and control of fever are recommended. Persons with complications may need treatment for their specific problem.
If someone suspects that they or their child may has measles (e.g., runny nose, red eyes, cough, fever that escalates, rash, spots inside the mouth), they should contact their healthcare provider for evaluation by phone and remain at home in order to limit the potential exposure to others to this highly contagious disease.