Measles is an easily spread virus that causes a fever, rash, and other cold-like symptoms. The disease can become very severe and lead to death. There are currently outbreaks throughout the country and getting your Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine can help protect you and your child from the disease.
Know the symptoms
Symptoms normally appear within 7-14 days from the time of infection. This can include:
Itchy, watery eyes,
White spots in the mouth
Skin rash that starts on the face and moves downward to the rest of the body
Fever may reach 104 degrees or higher during rashing
How is measles transmitted?
Measles can be spread from 4 days before to 4 days after the rash appears. It can be spread by:
Being near a sick person who is coughing or sneezing
Touching surfaces that have been coughed or sneezed on
Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth after being close to a sick person
Don't Spread Measles
To prevent Measles, you should get the MMR vaccine. This vaccine also protects you from mumps and rubella.
The CDC says that all children should get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose given between 12 to 15 months of age, and the second dose given between 4 to 6 years of age. Children can get the second dose earlier if it given 28 days after the first dose.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will the MMR vaccine fully protect me against measles?
If given the full 2 doses, the vaccine works 97% of the time to protect against measles.
Does the MMR vaccine cause autism or other serious diseases?
Currently there is no scientific proof that MMR causes autism or other serious diseases.
If my child is unvaccinated, can they travel?
If your child is unvaccinated, you should reduce their travel or interaction with large crowds as much as possible.
Can measles cause long term complications?
Measles can lead to many complications such as:
Ear infections leading to permanent hearing loss
Brain swelling leading to deafness and retardation
What if I think I have measles?
Contact your doctor immediately