In a follow-up on the measles situation in Maryland, state health officials are now reporting five cases as of May 9.


Cases of measles have been localized to a small geographic area within zip codes 21208, 21209 and 21215 in the Baltimore and Pikesville area.

Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  Also, measles virus can live for up to 2 hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed. A person with measles is contagious beginning 4 days before the rash appears until 4 days after the rash begins. Measles symptoms typically develop 10-14 days after exposure to the virus.

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Early symptoms of measles are high fever; runny nose; cough; and red, watery eyes. Usually, one to four days after the early symptoms, a red rash appears on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.

Some people may suffer from severe complications, such as pneumonia and encephalitis.

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Measles can be prevented with MMR vaccine. The MMR vaccine is very safe and effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93% effective.

From January 1 to May 3, 2019, 764 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 23 states. This is an increase of 60 cases from the previous week. This is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000.