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Measles is a reportable disease in Oklahoma.  Measles is a highly infectious disease caused by the measles virus.  Measles is also known as rubeola, seven-day measles, hard measles, or old-fashioned measles.  

Symptoms of measles include high fever and red blotchy rash starting on the face then spreading to the rest of the body.  Symptoms begin to appear about 7 to 14 days after a person is infected, but can be as long as 21 days.  Most cases start with a mild to moderate fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and sore throat.  About three to five days later, a red rash appears.  The rash begins at the hairline, then spreads down the rest of the body.  When the rash appears, the fever may be as high as 103°F to 105°F.  Other symptoms may include Koplik’s spots (tiny white spot with bluish-white centers in the mouth), and feeling run down or achy.  Symptoms may last for one to two weeks.  If you think you have symptoms of measles, contact your health care provider or county health department immediately.

Measles is passed from person to person by airborne droplets through coughing or sneezing.  Measles can also be spread by contact with nose and throat secretions from ill persons, or touching a contaminated surface.  Infected people can spread the virus four days before their rash starts to four days after.  If you think you have been exposed to measles, please contact your health care provider or your county health department.

Measles can be prevented by the measles vaccine (usually given in combination with rubella and mumps vaccines, or MMR vaccine), and is recommended for all children at 12 to 15 months of age and again at four to six years of age.  If a person has not received a second dose of the vaccine between four and six years of age, it may be given at any age thereafter.  The two doses of vaccine normally provide lifelong immunity.

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