Due to the recent measles cases in the Chicago area, we wanted to provide some information regarding measles and the MMR vaccine.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing.
Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat, and is followed by a rash that spreads all over the body.
Please refer to the CDC’s website for more information about signs and symptoms of measles at http://www.cdc.gov/measles/.
If you have concerns that your child may have measles, or has been exposed to the measles virus, please call your doctor.
The measles vaccine is recommended for children 12 to 15 months for the first dose, and between 4 and 6 years for the second.
Traditionally, we have given the first MMR vaccine in our office at 15 months of age and the second MMR vaccine dose at 5 years of age.
However with the current situation, if your child is between 12 and 15 months old or is between 4 and 5 years old, you are welcome to call and schedule a nurse visit for this immunization.
The CDC recommends giving the vaccine to infants 6-11 months old if they are traveling internationally. In times of community-wide outbreak, the CDC may recommend one dose between 6 and 12 months, but our current situation does not meet that guideline, and we do not want to use the vaccine too early if the need does arise in the future.
One dose of the MMR vaccine is 95% protective and two doses of MMR vaccine gives 97-99% protection.
If your child has had this vaccine they are at very low risk for contracting measles.
At this time, we have not seen any cases of measles at the practice and will continue to monitor the situation closely.
We will continue to work with the Illinois Department of Public Health and our local hospital Infectious Disease departments, and we will provide updates if the situation changes.
As always, please call your doctor with any questions.
Image credit: http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/