Health officials: Be alert for measles symptoms

Published 4:51 pm Thursday, July 28, 2011

Brewton residents are being advised to be alert to the possibility of measles symptoms.

According to the health department, an out-of-state resident with a confirmed case of the measles visited Brewton for a short period of time on July 11 and visited “a couple of local stores.

As of Thursday morning, the health department said it has not had any reported cases of rash illness in the Brewton area or from store employees. The health department continues to contact local medical providers to inquire of any rash illness they may have seen in their clinics.

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Measles generally has an incubation period of 10 to 14 days. Measles begins with an increasing fever, then coughing, runny nose, redness of the eyes, and finally, a rash breaks out. The rash usually starts on the head and then spreads to the rest of the body. Fever can persist, reaching extremely high temperatures, rash can last for up to a week, and coughing can last about 10 days. The rash typically begins 14 days after exposure but can rarely begin 19 to 21 days after exposure to a case. As a matter of routine, it is recommended that people born in 1957 and after receive two doses of measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. People born prior to 1957 are considered immune and do not need the vaccine.

Should any resident in the Brewton area experience a fever and then a rash the health department asks that residents do the following:

· Stay home

· Contact your private physician and inform him or her of the signs and symptoms

· Avoid contact with others in your home especially those who might be unvaccinated or not up to date on their vaccinations

· Advise those you have had contact with outside of your home that they should check their measles vaccination history and make sure they are up to date

For more information please contact David Legett or Avis Whitworth at the Escambia County Health Department at 251-867-5765.