Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. Measles starts with a fever. Soon after, it causes a cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out that starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. Measles can be serious for young children.
It can lead to pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and death. Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
It is so contagious that if one person has it, 90 percent of the people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected. From Jan. 2 to March 30, 2018, 34 people from 11 states in the U.S. were reported as having measles.
People in the U.S. still get measles, but it’s not very common. That’s because most people in this country are protected against measles through vaccination. However, measles is still common in other parts of the world.
Every year, unvaccinated people get measles while they are abroad and bring the disease back into the U.S. and spread it to others.
Protect Your Child with Measles Vaccine
You can protect your child against measles with a combination vaccine that provides protection against three diseases: measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).
The MMR vaccine is proven to be very safe and effective. CDC recommends that children get two doses:
• First dose at 12 to 15 months of age
• Second dose before entering school at 4 to 6 years of age If you are unsure whether your child’s immunizations are current, please contact your clinic to schedule an appointment with your child’s health care provider.
Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
From Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health