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Published: May 29, 2019 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University has launched a new health alerts page to educate students, faculty and staff about about measles.

While the Ohio Department of Health reports there are no measles cases in Ohio at present, there have been several outbreaks reported nationally. As a result, the Department asked institutions of higher education to share information about measles, preventative measures and vaccination options.

The Ohio Department of Health indicated that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers institutions of higher learning to be an environment that poses a high risk for measles transmission.

Measles is an extremely contagious, vaccine-preventable disease. Symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough, conjunctivitis, and a rash. The rash usually lasts 5-6 days and begins at the hairline, moves to the face and upper neck, and proceeds down the body.

Those who contract measles take an average of 10-12 days from exposure to exhibit the first symptom, which is usually fever. The measles rash doesn't usually appear until approximately 14 days after exposure, 2-3 days after the fever begins.

The CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommend college students and those attending post-high school educational institutions receive two doses of MMR vaccine. They recommend the same for interns and students who plan to travel abroad or already have.

The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is highly effective at preventing transmission of measles. One dose is approximately 93% effective, and two doses are approximately 97% effective. Vaccines are available through the Athens County Health Department, if insurance covers the vaccine, or through Campus Care. The student and employee health insurance plans both cover the vaccine.

For more information about measles, prevention, and other health alerts, visit OHIO’s health alerts page.