Measles is a serious respiratory 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.
- The rash starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. The rash can last for a week.
Measles is highly contagious.
- Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is so contagious that if one person has it, 9 out of 10 people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected.
- You can get measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, even up to two hours after that person has left.
- An infected person can spread measles to others even before he or she develops symptoms – from four days before they develop the measles rash to four days afterward.
Measles can cause serious health complications, such as pneumonia and encephalitis, and death.
- Some people are at high risk for severe illness and complications from measles, including children younger than 5 years of age, adults older than 20 years of age, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems.
- Ear infections occur in about one out of every 10 children with measles and can result in permanent hearing loss.
- As many as one out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children.
- About one child out of every 1,000 who gets measles will develop encephalitis (swelling of the brain) that can lead to convulsions and can leave the child deaf or with intellectual disability.
- For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die of the disease.
Measles cases continue to be brought into the United States by people who get infected while in other countries.
- Since 2000, when measles was declared eliminated from the U.S., the annual number of people reported to have measles ranged from a low of 37 people in 2004 to a high of 667 people in 2014.
- The majority of measles cases brought into the United States are among U.S. residents, and when vaccination status is known, almost all are unvaccinated.
- Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of getting the disease, especially when traveling abroad.
The best protection against measles is MMR vaccine.
- MMR vaccine provides long-lasting protection against all strains of measles. Make sure you’re up to date on MMR and other vaccinations.
- Children should receive two doses of MMR vaccine – the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Giving the second dose of the vaccine earlier is allowed at any time as long as it is at least 28 days after the first dose.
- Unless they have evidence of measles immunity, college and other students, health care personnel, and international travelers need two appropriately spaced doses. Other adults need one dose. Ask your health care provider if you have questions about whether you need MMR vaccine.
- People who received two doses of MMR vaccine as children according to the U.S. vaccination schedule are considered protected for life.
- For those who travel internationally, CDC recommends all U.S. residents older than 6 months be protected from measles and receive MMR vaccine, if needed, prior to departure.
The MMR vaccine has a long record of safety.
- FDA and CDC continually monitor MMR vaccine
- While MMR vaccines are safe, side effects can The most common side effects are mild (redness, swelling, tenderness from the shot). Serious side effects are extremely rare.
The Public Health offices in Afton and Kemmerer carry all approved and recommended childhood vaccinations. We can these for reduced cost under the Wyoming Vaccinates Important People state immunization program. We can administer these shots for the reduced fee of $20 with no office visit charge. The vaccine cost itself is free. If you cannot pay the $20 per shot fee, that price can be reduced or even waived entirely if necessary. We do not turn away anyone due to inability to pay. We accept Wyoming Medicaid and most health insurances. The only insurance company that does not accept our claims is Tricare. Please call us at 885-9598 or 877-3780 to schedule an appointment for any shots your child might need.
–All information is taken from the CDC