ACA has updated their information and resources surrounding measles and immunizations.
Measles is a serious respiratory disease caused by a virus. Measles starts with a fever. Soon after, it causes a cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out. It starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. The rash can last for a week, and coughing can last for ten days.
Measles is highly contagious and spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is so contagious that if one person has it, up to nine out of ten people around them will also become infected if they are not protected. You can get measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, even up to two hours after that person has left. An infected person can spread measles to others even before he or she develops symptoms — from four days before they develop the measles rash through four days afterward.
Measles can cause serious health complications, such as pneumonia or encephalitis, and even death. Children younger than five years of age and adults older than 20 years of age are at high risk of getting a serious case of measles. About one in four unvaccinated people in the US who get measles will be hospitalized. One out of every 1,000 people with measles will develop brain swelling (encephalitis). One or two out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even with the best care.