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Measles Outbreak – Protect Yourself And Your Loved Ones

Posted on Apr 1, 2015 12:30:26 AM by healtheo360

measles_vaccination.tif High school girls getting the MMR vaccine against measles.

In a recent statement, Oklahoma health officials said "Anyone who thinks they may have been at risk of exposure should review their immunization records and contact their local county health department with any additional questions...". This is in the wake of  Oklahoma's first measles case since 1997. According to the CDC, most of the 178 cases of measles  are part of a ongoing multi-state measles outbreak linked to a California amusement park.

Preventing Infection During The Measles Outbreak

You are protected from infection by immunization with two doses of a measles-containing vaccine. This vaccine is given after your first birthday. One dose of this vaccine, also called the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine, is about 93% effective at preventing measles if exposed to the virus and two doses are 97% effective (CDC).

QUICK FACT: The measles virus is highly contagious and can spread rapidly among unvaccinated people living in affected areas. An estimated 20 million people worldwide get measles and 146,000 die from the disease each year. That equals 400 deaths annually or about 17 deaths per hour.

Recommended Vaccine Schedules

  • Children should get two doses of MMR vaccine with the first dose at 12 through to 15 months of age. The second dose is recommended at age 4 through to 6 years.
  • Post-high school students who do not have evidence of immunity (see list of acceptable evidence of immunity) need two doses of MMR vaccine. Vaccination must be separated by at least 28 days.
  • Adults, much like high school students, with not evidence of immunity should get at least one MMR vaccine dose.
  • written documentation of adequate vaccination:
    • one or more doses of a measles-containing vaccine given on or after the first birthday for preschool-age children and adults not at high risk
    • two doses of measles-containing vaccine for school-age children and adults at high risk, including college students, healthcare personnel, and international travelers
  • laboratory evidence of immunity
  • laboratory confirmation of measles
  • birth before 1957

Vaccine Concerns

  • MMR and Autism: while there's concern that vaccination against measles can cause autism, research shows no evidence to support this claim. See this two page examination of the evidence (PDF document). The CDC also has a top 4 things parents should know about measles you can access here (PDF).

Anyone who believes the may have been exposed to areas affected by this measles outbreak (list below) is asked to review their immunization records. Please contact your local health department with questions or concerns.

States Affected By Ongoing Measles Outbreak

From January 1 to March 20, 2015, 178 people from 17 states and the District of Columbia were reported to have measles [AZ (7), CA (120), CO (1), DC (2), DE (1), GA (1), IL (15), MI (1), MN (1), NE (2), NJ (2), NY (3), NV (9), PA (1), SD (2) TX (1), UT (2), WA (7)] (CDC).

This article was written by healtheo360. Follow us @healtheo360

Copyright © 2015, healtheo360. All rights reserved.


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