Measles case confirmed in Bloomington
State health officials have confirmed a case of measles in a student at Indiana University Bloomington. The student did not attend classes while infectious and does not live on campus.
The Indiana State Department of Health, the Monroe County Health Department and Indiana University are working to identify potential additional cases and to prevent further transmission of the disease.
The student visited the IU Health Bloomington Hospital emergency department and a CVS pharmacy while infectious on March 24. IU Health Bloomington Hospital is contacting individuals directly who may have been exposed to measles.
Visitors to the CVS Pharmacy at 1000 N. College Ave, Bloomington, IN, 47404, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. on March 24 may have been exposed to the measles virus. Individuals who cannot verify two doses of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine or who were born in 1957 or later should contact their health care provider. In addition, individuals who develop symptoms of measles should stay home and call their health care provider as well as the Monroe County Health Department at (812) 349-2543.
On March 25, the individual visited the IU Student Health Center at 600 N. Jordan Ave., Bloomington, IN, 47405, while infectious. Risk of exposure at this location is very low because the individual wore a mask during the time spent in the clinic. A very small number of patients may have been exposed. The Student Health Center is contacting these individuals directly.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It is rare in the United States due to the widespread availability of the MMR vaccine; however, visitors from other countries or U.S. citizens traveling abroad can become infected before or during travel.
More than 95 percent of people who receive a single dose of MMR will develop immunity to measles, and more than 99 percent will be protected after receiving a second dose. Two doses of the vaccine are needed to be fully protected. Individuals are encouraged to check with their health care providers to ensure vaccinations are up-to-date.
Children are routinely vaccinated for measles at 1 year of age, and again at 4-6 years of age before going to kindergarten, but children as young as 6 months old can receive the measles vaccine if they are at risk. Individuals born before 1957 are presumed to be immune to measles. Individuals who are unsure about vaccination history should contact their health care providers. Hoosiers can also access immunization records directly through the secure online tool MyVaxIndiana by requesting a PIN from their health care provider.
Measles begins with a fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes about 7-10 days after exposure. The fever increases and can get as high as 105 degrees. Two to four days later, a rash starts on the face and upper neck. It spreads down the back and trunk, and then extends to the arms and hands, as well as the legs and feet. After about five days, the rash fades the same order in which it appeared.
Measles is highly contagious. When infected persons sneeze or cough, droplets spray into the air. Those droplets remain active and contagious on infected surfaces for up to two hours.
What you can do
If you are experiencing the symptoms of measles, stay home and call your doctor. Be prepared to describe your symptoms and alert your doctor if you think you have been in contact with an infected person. If you are ill with measles, remain home and away from others, especially unvaccinated infants, people with diseases affecting their immune systems, and pregnant women.
For more information about measles, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.