Measles have hit central Indiana and the Super Bowl may be to blame.

Indiana health officials said a person diagnosed with measles may have exposed visitors to the disease at Super Bowl Village in Indy on Friday. Now there are four more cases: Two in Hamilton County and two in Boone County ... both about three hours south of South Bend.

Doctors said anyone exposed to measles is at risk because it's highly contagious. But, if you've had at least one or two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR), you should be OK.

If you haven’t been vaccinated, doctors say now, more than ever, pay attention to symptoms that relate to measles.

Chelsea Pacconi, a junior at Saint Mary’s College, was one of more than 200,000 people that visited Indianapolis last Friday in hopes of catching some of the Super Bowl spirit.

"As soon as we got closer to the city there was a buzz in Indianapolis," Pacconi said.

But Pacconi, along with all the other football fanatics, didn't know there was a potential danger of contracting a disease.

"It’s a little shocking, I wasn't aware," Pacconi said.

Measles is rare in the United States, but it's still out there.

"It’s probably one of the most highly contagious vaccine-preventable diseases," said Barb Baker, the director of nursing at the St. Joseph County Health Department.

Doctors said it spreads very quickly.

"It can easily spread through bodily fluids, saliva or even surfaces where someone has had saliva on hard surfaces," said Dr. Glenn Davis with the South Bend Clinic.

SYMPTOMS

Davis said once you're exposed it takes about 7 to 14 days to set in. The symptoms start like a normal cold.

"Start with a runny nose, muscle aches, fever, at that point you progress to the classic measles rash," he said.

It lasts about a week, and usually doesn't require hospitalization.

 

If you think you may be sick, call your doctor and don't leave your house – because it's so highly contagious doctors recommend staying put so you don't spread it around.

 

Dr. Davis said having good hygiene and not sharing beverages with people can help people from contracting the disease.

WHAT'S BEHIND THIS OUTBREAK?

In between all the hype over Sunday's game, many people question: How did the disease reach Indianapolis?

"They're either imported or from another country because of travel to and from," Baker said.

Doctors said the person carrying the disease might not have known they were carrying it.

Pacconi is up to date on her vaccinations, but said even if she gets sick the experience in Indy was worth it.

"I'm not worried,” Pacconi said.  “If something happens, something happens."

The people in central Indiana who contracted the disease have never been vaccinated.