Two days ago, my family physician colleagues in Indiana tweeted (@INFamilyDocs) that their state Department of Health had reported a confirmed case of measles in an unvaccinated 11 year old child living in Hamilton County. Measles, also known as rubeola, is a very highly contagious respiratory infection caused by a paramyxovirus. Symptoms include high fever (up to 105 in some cases), cough, runny nose & red eyes, very similar to the common cold, at least until the classic rash appears, starting from the head & neck and spreading towards the rest of the body, lasting approximately 4-5 days before regressing. While childhood vaccinations have decreased the incidence of this infection by way of herd immunity, the virus still manages to kill more than 200,000 (mostly) children each year worldwide.
Unfortunately, this isn't the first case of measles diagnosed in Indiana, as an outbreak was noted last summer after a US resident returned from Indonesia where the virus is endemic. Well, the other shoe dropped today, as ISDH reported that two confirmed cases have been diagnosed along w/two more probably cases. Worse, one of the patients apparently visited Super Bowl Village, possibly exposing hundreds of thousands of individuals to measles. So if you know anyone who was lucky enough to go to the Super Bowl who is now complaining of a really bad cold, tell them to seek medical care immediately for possible measles (and inform your local Health Department).