FILE PHOTO: measles. Photo courtesy of the Cleveland Clinic

With 97 measles cases in 17 states as of late March, Utah public health officials are warning of a measles outbreak in the state. The state closest to Utah that has recorded cases is Arizona.

In all of 2023 there were 58 cases nationwide.

Utah public health officials encourage everyone to check their immunization records because the MMR vaccine is 97 percent effective against measles when two doses are given.

Measles symptoms appear 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. A rash with small red spots begins 3-5 days after other signs of the illness.

Common symptoms include cough, high fever, runny nose, sore throat and red or watery eyes. An infected person can spread measles up to four days before the rash appears  and up to four days after rash has been present.

Measles is a serious respiratory disease caused by a virus and is one of the most contagious diseases. It is so contagious that if one person has it, nine out of 10 people around that person will also become infected if they are  not protected by immunization or prior illness.

The 17 infected states to date are Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota,Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.

Measles was declared eliminated in 2000 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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