Officials with the Southwest Georgia Public Health District have reported two people in Atlanta have been treated for measles in the past month, according to a local media report.


No details on the patients are available.

Director for Public Health in Southwest Georgia Doctor Charles Ruis said children who are not vaccinated are at the highest risk for contracting the disease.

“If people have had the measles vaccine series, which is usually completed by age six, they have a 98 percent chance of lifelong immunity,” explained Ruis.

Measles is a highly contagious and potentially serious illness caused by a virus. Measles is spread through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes. The virus can linger in the air for up to two hours after someone who is infectious has left.

Measles symptoms begin with a high fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash that usually begins at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. A person can spread the virus before they show symptoms. People are contagious with measles for up to four days before and up to four days after the rash appears.

After someone is exposed to measles, illness develops in about one to three weeks.

How contagious is measles? Answer: Very

Measles can be serious in all age groups. However, children younger than 5 years and adults older than 20 years are more likely to suffer from measles complications. Common complications of measles include ear infection, pneumonia and diarrhea.

Immunization is the best prevention for measles. The measles vaccine is very effective. One dose of the measles vaccine is about 93 percent effective at preventing measles. Two doses are about 97 percent effective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.