First, take a deep breath. Do not panic Chances are, almost everyone who is reading this article does not have measles .
Know the most common early symptoms
The measles is most famous for its rash of tiny red dots, but the blister doesn 't worry, t show up until you have had other symptoms for three to five days. The CDC lists the common early symptoms as:
- High fever
- Runny nose
- Red, watery eyes
Before the rash appears on the skin , tiny white spots called Koplik's spots can sometimes be seen inside the mouth. (Symptoms usually take 7 to 1
Symptoms usually take 7 to 14 days to begin show In the meantime, you may not know that you've been exposed, but you can begin to become contagious for several days before you notice symptoms.
You have to catch measles from somewhere. If you live in one of the places with a current measles outbreak, your doctor will be a lot more suspicious of a fever and rash than they would in a zone that's hundreds of miles from any known case.
If there are no measles cases nearby, you might want to think about whether you have recently traveled to a place with an outbreak. Recent international travel can also put you at risk: the CDC currently has measles travel advisories for Israel, Ukraine, Japan, Brazil, and the Philippines.
Call your doctor, but do not visit in person
The last thing Any doctor wants in a waiting room is a person shedding a measles virus. It's so contagious that after you leave the room, there can be enough virus floating in the droplets in the air that someone who comes into the room two hours after you could contract the measles.
So if you think you might have measles, don ' t visit-call Do not have a primary care doctor? Call an urgent clinic, or your favorite telemedicine provider, just stay home until somebody gives you instructions otherwise.
What about the vaccine?
If you're up to date on the measles vaccine, there's 97% chance you're immune (93% if you only got one dose instead of the recommended two). That means some people who are vaccinated will still be able to contract the disease.
But people who have not been vaccinated have almost opposite odds: 90% unvaccinated people will get the disease.
Unvaccinated people include children who are too young to get shot or who have not managed to get it on time due to any reason. They also include people with immune system issues who can not safely receive the shot. All of these people depend on the rest of us to be vaccinated to stop the transmission of measles before it can reach them.
So if there's a chance you've been exposed to measles, and you come down with a fever and rash (or other characteristic symptoms), notify your doctor right away and be prepared to stay home for a while. Otherwise, you could infect others.