Officials at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden is reporting a “limited” measles outbreak during the Christmas weekend, according to a hospital news release.
As of Dec. 27, eight measles cases have been reported since the first case reported on Dec. 10. Most of the cases found are linked to each other.
The hospital is working intensively to track patients who may have been exposed to infection. There are many who have been exposed, but few are expected to be infected.
As a result of the contagious outbreak in progress, people who are not vaccinated can catch the virus. They are then offered the opportunity to quickly get vaccination. Vaccination must take place within three days of exposure to infection, “says Anne Haglund Olmarker, Deputy Hospital Director at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.
If you suspect you may have measles, hospital officials say don’t go to the emergency room. If you need to seek care, it is important to contact the staff before entering a reception, for the assessment of medical staff. People with suspected measles should not be in the waiting room in care!
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can be very unpleasant and sometimes lead to serious complications. The measles virus is contained in the millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
The initial symptoms of measles develop around 10 days after you’re infected.
These can include:
- cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing, and a cough
- sore, red eyes that may be sensitive to light
- a high temperature (fever), which may reach around 40C (104F)
- small greyish-white spots on the inside of the cheeks
A few days later, a red-brown blotchy rash will appear. This usually starts on the head or upper neck, before spreading outwards to the rest of the body.
Measles can be unpleasant, but will usually pass in about 7 to 10 days without causing any further problems.
Once you’ve had measles, your body builds up resistance (immunity) to the virus and it’s highly unlikely you’ll get it again.
However, measles can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications in some people. These include infections of the lungs (pneumonia) and brain (encephalitis).
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