Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Measles

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A recent case of measles in New Orleans and an increase in measles cases internationally may have you concerned about how to protect yourself and your family and what symptoms to look for.

First and foremost, we encourage all families to ensure their children are up-to-date with all their vaccinations, including the measles vaccine.

Children

  • The CDC recommends routine childhood immunization for the MMR vaccine starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose or booster at 4 through 6 years of age or at least 28 days following the first dose.

College Students

  • Students at post-high school educational institutions without evidence of measles immunity need two doses of the MMR vaccine, with the second dose administered no earlier than 28 days after the first dose.

Symptoms of Measles

Measles affects all organs of the body, and can cause serious and in some cases life-threatening complications in children including pneumonia and encephalitis.

A person infected with measles may not show symptoms for up to four days and during this time they can possibly spread this contagious virus to other children that they come in contact with through coughing or sneezing. The measles virus can live for up to two hours on a surface or in an airspace where an infected person coughed or sneezed.

Symptoms of Measles Include:

  • Fever of 101° or more;
  • Generalized maculopapular rash, usually beginning on the face and spreading to the body, with
  • The presence of one or more of the following:

If your child has not received this vaccine or you are unsure if they are up-to-date, please contact your pediatrician’s office and ask them to check your child’s vaccine records.

The CDC offers answers to frequently asked questions for parents about measles and the measles vaccine.

Evidence of Immunity

If you need to show evidence of immunity. The CDC accepts the following:

  • Written documentation of adequate vaccination
    • One or more doses of a measles-containing vaccine administered 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

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