Protecting against the measles
With the recent confirmed case of measles in our area and contact this patient had in La Crosse and Trempealeau County establishments, Gundersen Health System shares the following steps to take if you suspect you were exposed to measles and to prevent the spread of measles.
Call first. Don't show up. Gundersen's Telephone Nurse Advisors can help determine if you need to be seen by a healthcare professional. The nurse advisors can be reached at (608) 775-4454 or (800) 858-1050.
If you suspect that you have the measles, it is not necessary to be seen by a healthcare professional unless you need medical attention. If you do require medical attention, arrange to be seen at Gundersen Emergency Services or Urgent Care. If you are able, please wear a mask when entering the building if you have cold symptoms, fever and cough, or fever and rash.
Get vaccinated. If you, your child or family member(s) have not received the MMR vaccine (two doses of for school-aged children and adults; one dose for preschool-aged children), strongly consider making an appointment to be vaccinated. The measles vaccine is considered one of the most effective vaccines that exists; one dose is 93 percent effective in preventing the measles and two doses is 97 percent effective.
Recognize the symptoms. Individuals are communicable, or contagious, with the onset of cold-like symptoms including:
- Runny nose
- Red eyes
- Rash that eventually starts at the hairline and works its way down to the rest of the body
- Spots inside the mouth
Protect yourself and family. Staying up to date with your immunizations is most important. Additional steps you can take to further prevent the spread of diseases include washing your hands thoroughly and often, avoiding proximity with those who may be ill and/or infected, and not sharing personal items.