Measles Now Use Public Transportation, Too

There have been several outbreaks of measles within the United States this year. The New York State Department of Health reports a Bard College student infected with the measles took an Amtrak train from New York City’s Penn Station to Albany and then to Niagara Falls earlier this week. Measles is a childhood infection caused by a virus, which can be fatal.

Considering that Canada is not too far from SUNY Oswego, it is important to know what the measles are, how to prevent getting them and how to know if you have contracted the virus.

According to New York State law, young adults entering college are required to have the immunization records showing a two-set series of measles vaccinations before attending. 

Individuals can, however, show a waiver stating that they do not have the vaccine due to religious beliefs, an autoimmune disease or pregnancy.

Though there are vaccines to prevent the spread of the measles, the disease still kills more than 100,000 people a year that do not have access to the right medical care. Symptoms appear 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. According to Mayo Clinic, once someone has contracted the virus, it can spread to others for approximately eight days, beginning four days before the rash appears and ending when the rash has been present for four days. Some of the symptoms of the virus include:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Running nose
  • Sore throat
  • Inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Tin white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background fund inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek, also called Koplik’s spots.
  • A skin rash made up of large, flat blotches that often flow into one another.

Those who have not gotten the measles vaccinations are more likely to contract measles if in contact with someone who has the virus. The Health Line website suggests that those who do contract the measles take specific measures to lessen symptoms:

  • Acetaminophen to relieve fever and muscle aches
  • Lots of rest to help boost your immune system
  • Plenty of fluids (six to eight glasses of water a day)
  • The use of a humidifier to ease a cough and sore throat
  • Vitamin A supplements

Though there have not been any outbreaks of the measles within the Oswego area, it is still important to know what is going on around the area to be prepared for anything that has the potential to come our way.