Posted by ICCRR in News on 5/6/2019

A second case of measles has been confirmed in Iowa. This case is an unvaccinated Northeast Iowa resident, who is a household contact of the first confirmed measles case (an unvaccinated Northeast Iowa resident with recent travel to a county where measles transmission is occurring). Measles has not been in Iowa since 2011. Because this second measles case has been under a public health voluntary confinement order at home during the measles incubation period, there is no current threat to the general public.

Measles (also known as rubeola and hard measles) is a highly communicable viral disease characterized by fever, cough, coryza (inflammation of the mucus membranes of the nose), conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eye), and a maculopapular rash (red area on the skin with raised bumps). It usually occurs in people who have not had the disease before or who have not had the vaccine for it.  

Signs and symptoms begin to appear about 7-21 days after being infected. The rash usually appears about 14 days after being infected.

  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Fever (higher than 101° F)
  • Rash (flat red areas all over the body, with raised bumps )
  • Koplik spots (small spots with white or bluish-white centers on the inside of the cheeks)

Symptoms usually worsen for several days and may lead to the following complications:

  • Pneumonia
  • Swelling in the brain
  • Middle ear infection
  • Diarrhea
  • Death


The best way to prevent measles is to get vaccinated with a measles containing vaccine (MMR). Measles vaccine is required for enrollment in child care and preschools unless the child has a medical or religious exemption. Infants under one year of age are too young to be vaccinated.  Following the Iowa requirements on immunization greatly reduces the risk of children catching measles.

Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has the following information available to child care providers: Frequently Asked Questions for Licensed Child Care Facilities Measles Fact Sheet

For more information about measles go to IDPH webpage here. Thank you to Heidi Hotvedt, Child Care Nurse Consultant Healthy Child Care Iowa Coordinator, for sharing this information!

Tips from SAMHSA

Overhearing media reports or adult conversations can be scary and confusing for kids. Review this tip sheet from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to help offer support to children who are worried about the measles outbreak.


Tags: measles , disease prevention

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