A Lane County, Oregon man has been diagnosed with measles, with public health officials suspecting his illness may be linked to the Southern California outbreak.
Symptoms usually take 10-12 days to appear, and an individual is able to send the virus from four days before and four days after rash onset, according to Lane County, OR Public Health.
This is the first confirmed case of measles in Lane County in eight years, according to the public health department.
The virus spreads easily by air through coughing and sneezing.
Jason Davis with the Lane County Public Health on the public health concern:
“On a scale of 1 to 10, this is a 10. Maybe even an 11. One case will cause 15-20 new cases, so if you think about that exponential growth, it can grow in a community in just a matter of weeks.”
People are considered immune to measles if they received these vaccinations or if they have had the disease in their lifetime. Lane County Public Health is investigating the potential reach and contacts of this case. If you start showing symptoms, according to Davis, you should call your doctor first to avoid exposing other people at the doctor’s office.
Measles is characterized by a fever as high as 105°F as well as malaise, cough and conjunctivitis, followed by a rash, according to the CDC. The rash usually appears 14 days after exposure and spreads from the head to the body to the legs and feet.
Dr. Patrick Luedtke, Lane County Public Health Officer:
“The best way to protect yourself from the virus is to get the MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine. Most people got it when they were less than a year ago, but it is never too late to protect yourself.”