What’s up with the measles, doc?
Not-so-happiest-place-on-earth? The current explosion in media coverage regarding the measles, vaccination, and complications of the disease is directly related to an outbreak traced back to the theme park where most of us have fond childhood memories, Disneyland. As of the latest data (from mid-February), there have been 141 cases of measles across the US in 2015 – over 85% of which have been tied directly to Disney theme parks.
With measles still being quite prevalent in other countries and airplanes making travel to all parts of the world convenient, it is easy-peasy to bring measles back to our neck of the woods, which is why vaccination is more important than ever! Additionally, measles is soooo contagious (it can hang out in the air for 2 hours!) that 9 out of 10 people who are not protected will contract the disease if they come into close contact with an infected person!
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all recommend that children receive the MMR vaccine at age 12 to 15 months, and again at 4 to 6 years. The most common side effects of the MMR vaccine are a fever and occasionally a mild rash. One dose of the measles vaccine is 93% effective, and two doses are about 97% effective in measles prevention.
- Measles is a leading cause of death among children, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine for the past 50 years!
- Over 1 billion children have been vaccinated since 2001, yet 300 children still die each day from the measles.
- Measles can be serious! Complications from measles can include pneumonia and encephalitis, which can lead to long-term deafness or brain damage.
- About 2 or 3 in every 1,000 cases of measles in children results in death, even with the best care.
Symptoms generally appear 7-14 days after exposure and include:
- Runny nose
- Red eyes
- Rash appears 3-5 days after the other symptoms
Your child’s health is a priority for us.
Call us if you are concerned your child may have been exposed to, is showing symptoms of, or needs to be vaccinated against measles!