Possible Measles Exposure in the Greater St. Louis area

Measles is a virus that is spread by respiratory droplets or through the air and can linger indoors for up to two hours.

August 8, 2023 | 2 min reading time

The City of St. Louis Department of Health is advising residents of an international travel-associated case of measles in the St. Louis region. 

On Friday, August 4, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health, and the St. Charles County Department of Public Health released information regarding potential exposures to the confirmed measles case. 

Measles is a virus that is spread by respiratory droplets or through the air. The virus can linger indoors for up to two hours after an infected person has left the area. It is highly contagious for those who are not immune. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that symptoms appear 7 to 21 days after contact with the virus (average is 14 days).

Symptoms can include the following:

  • High fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Rash (usually starting on the face or hairline and moving downward)
  • Small white spots inside the mouth beginning 2–3 days after initial symptoms

The rash that is associated with measles normally appears 3 to 5 days after the first symptoms, and usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs and feet.

Patients are considered to be contagious from four days before until four days after the rash appears.

People who may have been exposed to measles and develop cold-like symptoms with a fever and/or rash as described are asked to contact their healthcare provider before going to the health care facility for care.  Persons who develop symptoms of measles and are not known to have been exposed are also asked to call a health care facility before seeking treatment.  

Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease. Individuals can check with their health care provider to make sure they and their family are up-to-date on vaccines.

Healthcare providers are encouraged to include measles in their differential diagnoses and to direct patients who are awaiting lab results to isolate themselves from others. Suspected cases should be immediately reported to the local public health agency and to DHSS at (573) 751-6113, or (800) 392-0272 outside normal business hours. For more information about measles go to https://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html.

Residents with questions can contact the City of St. Louis Department of Health Communicable Disease hotline at (314) 657-1499.

  • Contact Information:
    Kim Vanden Berg
    Public Information Officer
    Office Phone: (314) 657-1483
    Mobile Phone: (314) 659-7742
  • Department:
    Department of Health
  • Topic:

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