Your Questions Answered About Measles
What is Measles?
Measles is a very contagious viral illness. It can spread in the air through sneezing and coughing. It typically includes a high fever, red eyes (conjunctivitis), cough, and a characteristic rash.
How serious is Measles?
About 1 in every 4 people who get measles will be hospitalized. About 1 in every 2000 who get measles will die from respiratory or neurologic complications. Children under 5 years old are at higher risk of complications from measles.
What can be done to prevent Measles?
The Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is the most effective way to prevent measles. Only 2 doses are needed for lifetime protection against measles. 2 doses of measles vaccine are 97% effective at preventing the disease. These vaccines are routinely given between 12-15 months and 4-6 years old.
What if my child is too young for the MMR vaccine?
Mothers who receive 2 doses of MMR pass along their antibodies to their baby while pregnant. These antibodies are present for close to the first 12 months of life and help prevent getting measles.
Does my older child need a booster dose?
No, the CDC currently recommends 2 lifetime doses of the vaccine as being sufficient to help prevent getting measles.
Are people in measles outbreaks typically unimmunized?
Yes, the most recent outbreak in Washington state supports this as well. So far in 2019, this outbreak has had 70 reported people with measles. 61 were unimmunized, 7 unverified, and 2 have had only 1 dose of the MMR vaccine.
Is there any link between MMR and Autism?
No, multiple studies have demonstrated that there is no link between the MMR vaccine and Autism.
*Information in this newsletter from Centers for Disease Control (CDC)