MEASLES (RUBEOLA) - Cobb & Douglas Public Health

 

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by a virus that lingers and spreads in the air by way of an infected person coughing or sneezing. Measles is preventable through the combination MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine which is recommended to children 12 through 15 months with a second dose given at ages 4 through 6. For those who contract the disease, serious complications – such as pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and ear infections that can lead to permanent hearing loss – can occur.

Symptoms of measles are similar to the cold or flu – fever, coughing, runny nose, sore throat – but include red, watery eyes and a rash that typically begins on the face or lower hairline at the back of the neck which spreads over the entire body. A person infected with measles is contagious from about four days before to four days after the rash appears. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that 90 percent of people close to the infected person who are not immune (vaccinated) to the disease will contract the virus. Because measles lives in the throat and nose mucus of an infected person, it is easily spread by coughing and sneezing and can linger in the air and infect surfaces for up to two hours after contamination. A person who breathes in the air or touches their eyes, nose or mouth after touching an infected surface can contract the virus if they are not immune. Even those immune persons can spread the disease through close contact with a person affected by the disease if infected mucus contaminates their clothing or other items.

The only effective way to prevent the spread and infection of measles is through the MMR vaccine. Children younger than 5 and adults older than 20 years of age who are not vaccinated are at risk for complications resulting from measles infections.

For more information about Measles, visit:

http://dph.georgia.gov/measles
http://www.cdc.gov/measles/

Who is at risk for contracting measles?

Anyone who has not received the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine is at risk of contracting measles. Children under age 5 and adults over the age of 20 who have not been vaccinated are most likely to develop complications from measles infections, such as pneumonia.

Am I protected against measles?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you are considered protected from measles if you have written documentation (records) showing at least one of the following:

  • You received two doses of measles-containing vaccine, and you are a(n)—
    • school-aged child (grades K-12)
    • adult who was not vaccinated as a child and will be in a setting that poses a high risk for measles transmission, including students at post-high school education institutions, healthcare personnel, and international travelers.
  • You received one dose of measles-containing vaccine, and you are a(n)—
    • preschool-aged child
    • adult who was not vaccinated as a child and will not be in a high-risk setting for measles transmission.
  • A laboratory confirmed that you had measles at some point in your life.
  • A laboratory confirmed that you are immune to measles.
  • You were born before 1957.

If you’re unsure whether you’re immune to measles, you should first try to find your vaccination records or documentation of measles immunity. If you do not have written documentation of measles immunity, you should get vaccinated with measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. Another option is to have a doctor test your blood to determine whether you’re immune, but this option is likely to cost more and will take two doctor’s visits. There is no harm in getting another dose of MMR vaccine if you may already be immune to measles (or mumps or rubella).

Why is measles still a concern in the United States?

Measles is primarily a concern in the United States due to travel of unvaccinated individuals (Americans and visitors) from other countries where measles is still a common disease into the United States, and pockets of unvaccinated individuals living in the nation.

 

Specific Public Health services and schedules may vary by location. Call your health center for details.

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Cobb County

Building A
1650 County Services Parkway
Marietta, Georgia 30008
(770) 514-2300
Center Hours & Services
Map & Directions

Building B
1738 County Services Parkway
Marietta, Georgia 30008
(770) 514-2300
Center Hours & Services
Map & Directions

Douglas County

6770 Selman Drive
Douglasville, Georgia 30134
(770) 949-1970
Center Hours & Services
Map & Directions

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Cobb Locations

Acworth
4489 Acworth Industrial Drive
Acworth, Georgia 30101
(770) 974-3330
Center Hours & Services
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Cobb County Environmental Health
1738 County Services Parkway
Marietta, Georgia 30008
(770) 435-7815
Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Except on holidays
Map & Directions

Marietta – Building A
1650 County Services Parkway
Marietta, Georgia 30008
(770) 514-2300
Center Hours & Service
Map & Directions

Marietta – Building B
1738 County Services Parkway
Marietta, Georgia 30008
(770) 514-2300
Center Hours & Services
Map & Directions

Smyrna (WIC)
3830 South Cobb Drive, Suite 200
Smyrna, Georgia 30080
(770) 438-5105
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East Cobb
4958 Lower Roswell Road, Suite 120
Marietta, Georgia 30068
(678) 784-2180
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South Cobb (WIC)
875 Six Flags Drive
Austell, Georgia 30168
770-514-2389
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Adolescent Health & Youth Development/Health Promotion
875 Six Flags Drive
Austell, Georgia 30168
(678) 385-1360
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Douglas Locations

Douglas
6770 Selman Drive
Douglasville, Georgia 30134
(770) 949-1970
Center Hours & Services
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Douglas County Environmental Health/Douglas Underage Drinking Prevention Program
8700 Hospital Drive, 1st Floor
Douglasville, Georgia 30134
(770) 920-7311
Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Except on holidays
Map and Directions

 
 
All Cobb & Douglas Public Health Centers will be closed on Monday, May 29 in observance of Memorial Day and will re-open on Tuesday, May 30. For questions, please call: 770-514-2300.
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