The dangers of measles

Tennessee

More and more cases of the measles are popping up across the country.

A state of emergency declared in Washington state where the number of confirmed cases has climbed to 38. Now, cases are emerging here in the south – with several cases in Atlanta, Ga. 

WATE 6 On Your Side spoke with the director of the Knox County Health Department Thursday, who says she couldn’t emphasize enough how important it is to vaccinate against the measles virus. 

Measles is a highly contagious virus with symptoms that start out kind of like a cold. Patients may get a fever, a runny nose, then – 3 to 5 days later, a rash appears that lasts about 7 days total, but it can have complications.

This is such a highly contagious virus because one is contagious four days before the rash, and four days after the rash. 

Even if you walk into a room an hour after someone with measles was in there, you can still get it – if you’re not vaccinated. 

“It hangs out in the air so if you leave the room, if you have measles and you leave the room, it floats around in the air … For two hours I can still catch it from you having been in the room, if I’m not vaccinated. The good news is, the measles vaccine works really well and is very protective and very safe,” says Knox County Health Dept. director Martha Buchanan. 

 “And (vaccines) don’t cause autism we know that it’s been proven over and over again by medical studies and you know vaccinations are not controversial in the medical community, there is not even a question of whether they’re affective and safe. They are.”

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