NEWS RELEASE: January 18, 2024
DPH Confirms Measles Case in Metro Atlanta
MMR Vaccine is Safe and Effective in Preventing Measles
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed a case of measles in an unvaccinated resident of the metro Atlanta area. The individual was exposed to measles while traveling out of the country. DPH is working to identify anyone who may have had contact with the individual while they were infectious.
Measles is very contagious and spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Measles virus can stay in the air or on surfaces for up to two hours after an infected person has left the room.
Measles symptoms appear 7 to 14 days after contact with the virus and typically include high fever, cough, runny nose, and watery eyes. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out. It starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.
Measles can be prevented with the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. The vaccine is safe and effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children receive their first dose of MMR vaccine between 12-15 months of age and a second dose between 4-6 years old. More than 95% of the people who receive a single dose of MMR will develop immunity to all three viruses. A second dose boosts immunity, typically enhancing protection to 98%.
The last reported case of measles in Georgia was in 2020.
People with symptoms of measles should contact their health care provider immediately. DO NOT go to the doctor’s office, the hospital, or a public health clinic without FIRST calling to let them know about your symptoms. Health care providers who suspect measles in a patient should notify public health immediately.
For more information about measles, log on to https://dph.georgia.gov/epidemiology/acute-disease-epidemiology/vaccine-preventable-diseases/measles or https://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html.
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