Measles Outbreak in US

Feb 23, 2015

Measles Cases and Outbreaks in US

From January 1 to February 20, 2015, 154 people from 17 states and Washington DC were reported to have measles. Most of these cases [118 cases] are part of a large, ongoing multi-state outbreak linked to an amusement park in California.

The United States experienced a record number of measles cases during 2014, with 644 cases from 27 states reported to CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). This is the greatest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000.

The majority of the people who got measles are unvaccinated. Measles is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. Travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S. Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated.

For the CDC information on Measles outbreak website

Signs and Symptoms of Measles

The symptoms of measles generally appear about 7-14 days after a person is infected.

  • Measles typically begins with: High fever, Cough, Runny nose, Red/watery eyes (conjunctivitis).
  • 2-4 days after symptoms begin: Tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth.
  • 3-5 days after symptoms begin: Rash breaks out (It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. When the rash appears, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104° Fahrenheit.).
  • After a few days: Fever subsides and the rash fades.

For the CDC information on Measles, Click here.

You should CALL ahead to a healthcare provider IMMEDIATELY and MENTION your symptoms.

  • Rutgers University Newark-Health Services: (973) 353 5231. If you need to be evaluated at the Health Services, an appointment (preferably on the same day) will be made. Since Measles is very highly contagious, Health Services has to make arrangement to prevent further spread of the disease.
  • 24-hour Nurse Line: (866) 221-9674
  • In case of Emergency: 911

Limit your contact with other people if you are sick. Do not go to work, classes, or other student activities until you have been medically evaluated to reduce the possibility of spreading illness to others.

If you think that you have been exposed to someone with measles, please call us as soon as possible.

Protect Yourself from Measles

  • Two doses of measles vaccine are required for full protection. Adults who have not received two measles shots may be at risk of infection.
  • Vaccinations are very safe. The benefits far outweigh any risks. Side effects are usually mild, such as soreness where the shot was given.
  • Be sure that you are fully vaccinated prior to international travel. Measles is found in many parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
  • A simple blood test can determine if you are protected against measles.

Rutgers University Health Services in Newark provides vaccinations against measles. Students enrolled in the Student Health insurance plan are covered for the vaccine and with NO COST to the student. Visit our Immunization Section. Contact us.