Everything You Need to Know About the Measles

From January 1 to May 3, 2019, 764 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 23 states.  This is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The CDC adds the Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing. Also, measles virus can live for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed. If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch the infected surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected. Infected people can spread measles to others from four days before through four days after the rash appears. Measles is a disease of humans; measles virus is not spread by any other animal species.

According to the CDC, Measles starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. It’s followed by a rash that spreads over the body. Measles is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing. Make sure you and your child are protected with measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

According to Dr. Oscar Almeida with Stopwatch Urgent Care, the first vaccine is given between 12-15 months. Booster is given between 4-6 years of age. 93% are immune after one dose, 97% after two doses.

Dr. Almeida said you’re considered immune to the measles if your immunization records document that you’ve received two doses of MMR vaccine at any point in your life, had a blood test confirming immunity against the measles and were born before 1957. If you’re an adult and don’t have the above, Dr. Almeida said he’d recommend getting a booster.

For more information on the measles,  visit https://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html


Categories: Alabama News, Ask The Doctor