Note from the Acting Commissioner: Get Vaccinated

Dr. Dzirasa

Late last week, there was news of a confirmed measles case in the Baltimore area. Measles is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable, viral infection which is easily spread to unvaccinated persons through coughing, sneezing, and secretions from the mouth.

Measles symptoms typically develop within 10-14 days after exposure to the virus, but can develop as soon as seven days and as long as 21 days after exposure. Early symptoms of measles are: body temperature of more than 101 degrees, runny nose, cough, and red, watery eyes. One to four days after symptoms begin, a red rash can appear on the face and spread to the rest of the body. A person with measles is contagious beginning four days before the rash appears and until four days after the rash is visible.

While Maryland does not currently have an outbreak, the Baltimore City Health Department continues to work closely with community leaders, local health care providers, the Baltimore County Health Department, and the Maryland Department of Health to increase measles awareness and to provide education and guidance to the public and health care providers.

We know that vaccines are safe for most children and have been highly effective in eradicating diseases that once plagued generations before us.

As the City’s Health Commissioner, a pediatrician, and a mother, I encourage residents to ensure that their families are protected and up-to-date on their vaccinations. Getting vaccinated is the best way that each of us can protect ourselves, our families, and our community.

Letitia Dzirasa, MD.

Acting Commissioner of Health

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